06.27.12

Tibetan buddhism and other fronts

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:52 pm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/27/nicholas-vreeland-dalai-lama_n_1628517.html?utm_hp_ref=religion: Dalai Lama Taps Nicholas Vreeland, American Buddhist, To Bridge East And West At Rato Monastery In Southern India
Is this just a superficial concession?

I have long suspected the Tibetan system is a total waste of time for most Westerners (and probably most Tibetans). It is atroubling question, this closed world of Tibetan buddhism. It is a huge trap and a dead end, I suspect.
And it tends to dominate the whole field. The Dalai Lama never once acknowledged the existence of the living buddha Rajneesh, and never visited his ashram, a very telling bit of behavior.
The whole of Tibetan Buddhism seems to be a front for unseen ghostly lamas unknown even to the Dalai Lamas. They are obscurely associated with a fascist/nazi trend, beyond the grasp of most Tibetans, but probably contacted by Gurdjieff.
I think that the whole of Tibetan buddhism is a fake front, for what is not clear.
I can’t offer advice here, but for myself have absolutely no plans to go anywhere near Tibetan Buddhism.

Detecting evolution

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:28 pm

New Age groups are also prone to confusion over the meaning of evolution, as noted here many times.

http://www.amazon.com/Descent-Man-Revisited-World-History/dp/0984702903/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334320689&sr=1-1: Descent of Man Revisited has a different strategy from many books on evolution, even critical ones: it exposes the limits of explanation in accounts of human evolution, and demands that ‘theory’ address the real complexity of human nature and its emergence. The fact is that we simply don’t have any good information, apart from a general set of outlines.

Current science has a false view of man, and a crippled view of how evolution works, and the result is a myth. So it is not surprising there is so much dissent.
The point of the macro effect, so-called, is that history and evolution are suspected of a kind of overlap, and that this provides a clue to what evolution really looks like: its ‘macroevolutionary’ process.

06.26.12

Confused efforts to negate ‘nirvana’

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:10 am

http://darwiniana.com/2012/06/04/harris-strange-betrayal-of-his-buddhist-study/

This is an older post on Sam Harris and buddhism, after yesterday’s related post.

And it echoes Own Flanagan’s really bad book on ‘naturalizing’ buddhism.
The new atheists are in the middle of creating a hopeless mess. I am not even a buddhist, am unwelcome among Tibetan Buddhists, mainstream buddhists (my blog The Gurdjieff Con really infuriated a lot of spiritual bigwigs, these people are too cowardly to take on science, leaving the job to people like me), and yet am forced to defend buddhism when people like Flanagan and Harris use bad scintism to create impossible choices for intelligent people who know better. The point is that people trained in limited science begin to try and program culture in dangerous ways, that require insurrection against science.
To critique the religion of buddhism would be one thing, but to claim in the name science that buddhist nirvana can’t exist leaves me baffled at the dumb intelligence of scientists. And this kind of bad strategy in the name of ‘secularism’ can only backfire: people who respect and follow science are forced into opposition. And this is quite different from the situation with fundamentalist dissent.

What I find baffling is that the prestige of (supporsedly) smart people like Harris (Flanagan is a hopeless jackass) is somehow twisted into service here. It is like cultic programming in reverse. Harris spent a lot of time studying buddhism in Nepal, I am dumbfounded to learn, and yet managed to leave all that behind and perpetrate the outrageous campaign against buddhist basics, topped off by his idiotic attempt to peddle a crippled version of mindfulness.
I can only conclude, once again, that science training is confusing these actually not so smart people.

It is simply a waste of time to attack the pillar of buddhism, its path to enlightenment. The question of nirvana has been tested thousands of times over the course of history. If its status is somewhat murky nonetheless, then that is the rationale for the Sangha of Buddhism.
But to adopt this strategy of crippling buddhism (I suspect it is deliberate, but can’t be sure) can only weaken respect for science. People are forced into opposition even as science journalists write one more piece bemoaning science rejection.

Harris, get smart.
The new atheists complain of religious wars, but the style of the new atheists is precisely to create such conflicts. If you threaten those who won’t agree up is down, you will create a war. So with buddhism: if you declare that science must forbid the idea of enlightenment (the stupidity is beyond belief) you will start a war against science.

06.24.12

The Osho/Rajneesh legacy

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:05 pm

http://darwiniana.com/2012/06/23/occupy-osho-communes-communist-xtianity-and-other-useful-revolutionary-projects/

One of reasons for yesterday’s post at the link, apart from its general interest, is to point to a genuinely ‘modern’ form of Indian spirituality, faithful to its roots, but also informed by and in the context of modernity. Osho was very definitely oriented toward the modern world, unlike too many tradtionalists who are antagonistic to modernism.
The reason for this is that, among many factors, the Jain culture, despite much hide-boudn traditionalism, is an outsider to the decrepit Hindu degeneration of Indian religion. And it is very close to Buddhism, but distinct from it.
Rajneesh saw that a ‘neo-buddhism’ of the kind he envisioned was post-buddhist, and he also devoutly wished Hinduism might collapse and slide into the sea, enough already of Indic childishness.
Even as he invoked the future of religion, or post-religion as he envisioned it, he recycled the greatest aspects of all religions that invoked their best, and made a rapid getaway from their dead forms.
Tibetan Buddhism is a hopeless obstacle in the way to buddhism. And it is grossly reactionary, and stuck with its Dalai Lamas. Why bother with it? It has not produced a buddha in centuries, if it has produced any at all.

Osho’s ashrma in India I do not know, and am not referring to. I have bad feeling that it is a degenerated commercial verhicle, and its exclusive focus on a particular guru is again already a thing of the past. And the events near the end of the saga are hard to assess, and don’t much matter with respect to the larger tradition he initiated for the future.
The remainder is a context and a guiding format for a new religious mode, post-religion. By comparison the new atheism is a pitiful parody.

And it is uncanny to see how the new atheists echo Rajneesh’s critique of religion, and Xtianity, his being far more severe than anything in the muddled Harris and Dawkins, and able to both critique xtianity even as he produced a now classic discourse, The Mustard Seed, on the apostle Thomas.

One of the weaknesses in my long thread on ‘ultra left xtianity’ is that xtians would have a long learning curve on ‘communism’, while the Rajneesh lineage (critical to be sure of classic communism) can pick up a commune-ism of the future at the drop of a hat.
It remains a strong legacy for post-religion, and the hundreds of thousands who turned toward that source in the seventies and eighties is testimony to its relevance.

My point is that even the xtianity of the Reformation tends to fall under the spell of the false tradition it is burdened with. The Osho/Rajneesh legacy has no past, and must point to the future, and it would make a good backdrop for a phase of the left beyond its current dead forms in scientism and nineteenth century materialism.

Osho always warned to move on after his death, but the legacy he left behind remains as a viable set of resources.
I should caution that it is very difficult to source this legacy, since the three hundred classic discourses he produced are out of print, and carefully ignored by mainstream media. The various reprints are carefully edited fakes, mishmash. The original works of Bombay imprint are the only serious source. Major libraries have many of those works.

The Osho legacy bombed at the end, and is a puzzle, and a distraction: the basic move to the future which Osho started is far larger than the organiztion he created.
The point is that most discussions of religion for and against now are out of date, and misinformed. The bad parody of Rajneesh by the new atheists is toxic junk. Seek out the real source.

Harris again on ‘death’, and, time to kick the false ‘mindfulness’ habit

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:52 am

Harris again on ‘death’, and, time to kick the false ‘mindfulness’ habit//darwiniana.com
http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/sam-harris-on-death/: Harris video…

I haven’t watched this video and am responding to first paragraph: the basic assumptions here are false, and I would add, Harris is corrupting mindfulness meditation with his, and others’ bullshit sophistries about its effectiveness for useless goals.

The question of fear of death is not solved by religion, so I am puzzled by the need for this. Many atheists have transcended such fear as well as many religionists. But, by and large, theists and atheists must surely suffer such fear in parallel but roughly equal forms.
If anything the fear of death in a ‘buddhist’ can spring from a sense of being unprepared for the equivalent of a space shuttle launch without training. So the knowledge of the reality of immortality can actually increase fear of death.

The question of uncertainty haunts theists and atheists both, and those who operate with assumptions about death don’t not, mostly, act dogmatically: like Socartes, the question of death is a deep mystery even to those who consider life to be a vehicle in a larger framework.
It is simply metaphysically bad science to dogmatize about immortality and the after-death state, given the complex human legacy here. The balanace of the laughably thin evidence tends to suggest that man has a soul, and that this relates to the issue of immortality. Beyond that it is hard to arrive at certainties.
As to mindfulness, it would seem time to drop the ‘mindfulness’ bad habit as it is promoted by prejudiced figures like Harris, whose deeper intent is to coopt meditation and the path to enlightenment with a bullshit version of mindfulness.

The divorce of meditation from the path to enlightenment is not the least of the destructive tactics adopted by Harris.
What’s with this guy?

06.21.12

Occupy and Osho Commune

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:25 pm

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/21/occupy-is-alive-so-is-history/

This is an important article with an ominous perspective: “…the existing order is incapable of self-correction”???

The factor of current unemployment isn’t getting much real discussion, even from liberals giving the right advice for an older form of the economy. Let us be glad for Krugman, Reich, Kuttner here, but the labor economy is dysfunctional, probably forever, and now, it is clear, the ‘reserve army of the unemployed’ is no longer a marginal percentage in a booming economy, but a permanent group of talented, work-able, people in a whole generation rejected by a market system now bordering on a form of madness, a kind of financial Walpurgisnacht. The upturn predicted isn’t going to integrate these people into a new level of economy. These people must without delay find extra-economic refuge since the ‘system’ only offers skid-row, the criminal shadow zone, … the park bench lumpenproletariat. Also in the public libraries of large cities. Libraries show the reality of extra-market potentials already existing on the borderline of pure marginality. Strangely, Marx’s contempt for this class, the lumpenproletariat, understandable in the nineteenth century, misses the fact that this class is not taken as the focal zone of the real proletariat while much of organized labor is fixated on Fox News, and the manipulations, insidious and effective, that has created a real dummy, a rightwing racist populist, where before there was an honorable man of labor. Liberating this new cadre of idiots may be a lost cause. Sometimes you see these people cashiering at Walmart, not quite aware they are being exploited. The liberation of consciousness for these people must continue, but we can’t bet our future on a rapidly disappearing proletariat. It won’t take much: the people at Walmart are ready for the left.

The social mix needs, as the OWS made beautifully clear, an ‘inner space to occupy’, an inner commune, next to, outside of, perhaps interacting with the market, but basically a form of civil society that can offer a life to those that have no future in the economic order. Communes in the country, communes in the city, communes of different forms and types: resources of work, food, habitation, basics, educational situations, and much else.
Such orgs must learn to exist in civil society, and learn how to defend themselves from the rapidly developing state fascist apparatus, much doted over by the sneaky Obama. The attempt to occupy ‘Zuccotti Park’ is thought quixotic, but it pointed symbolically to what is needed: an alternate society of the (lumpen)proletariat, existing in a form of the Commune, one clever enough to be fully legal, yet outside of the normal system. The OWS often jumps into this mode. The holy grail of ‘revolution’ in real time can be kept in a backpack while the day to day Commune provides a lifeboat on the way.
As a group effort this would be much easier to achieve than one might think. As a slow motion revolution, completely legal, it could be entirely viable, perhaps with a reserve project of real revolutionary action, as a distinct potential, born by the group, such ‘Communes’ can echo the lore of the Commune, but reinvent self beyond that historic yet somehow primitive failure.
I know what I am saying, since I saw one experiment of this type, the OSHO commune in Oregon, now discredited by its outcomes. Noone seems to realize that a Jain Buddha, armed with a dynamite spiritual prospectus did something completely revolutionary in the wilds of Oregon, with direct intent to overthrow American capitalism. Small wonder the CIA was all over the place. This experiment was undone by its eccentricities, after a tour de force of Commune creation.

I offer no defense of that outcome, but merely note that a group of less that five thousand people reinvented social community, economy, and reached basic industrialization of a new kind in less than five years of effort.
That experiment is almost a phantasm at this point, but it shows that the ‘Commune’ is literally possible. The OSHO Commune could not distinguish the steady state revolution, from the revolutionary action program, and was destroyed by the CIA. Make no mistake, a thorough critique of that fiasco is in order. But it is clear how easy it is to create a ‘Commune. With a new perspective and the right discipline, the CIA et al would pose no real threat. Part of the social domination mentality enforces the notion of the impossibility of such things as ‘utopian’. That wasn’t the point at all. The answer to Utopia is not skid row, it is a sensible organization of life in civil socity.
A new experiment should take note of that legacy, and attempt something more viable. But the OSHO experiment shows how much can happen with a simple amount of organization. The left has never been able to think like this, perhaps because of its doctrinal rigidity about control of the State nexus in toto.

That OSHO expermiment may not be your cup of tea, then, forget it, and simply see what a little brazen nerve, and ‘organization light’ can achieve. Not the left, but a renegare buddha from Jain India demonstrated a new form of the left.
Let me repeat it: five thousand people in less than five years can create a new Commune, at the threshold of autonomous light industry, agriculture, with people who work without money in an existence rich in meaning.
A version for city zones would be more than possible, with a little thought.
There are a hundred alternate versions of this, so I am not being specific, as such.

Within the prevailing political economy the internal logic is to build systems of political and economic repression rather than to create political, economic and social justice. This can be seen in the level of debt students are expected bear, in increasingly intrusive surveillance, in the militarization of the police, in the unresponsive politics of the mainstream political parties and in the absence of any sustained effort to create jobs for youth and other unemployed.

These conditions were not created by the young or by the multitudes that are likewise on the outside of economic and mainstream political life. They result from decades of ideologically driven policies that assumed that the secular deity of markets removed the need for thought, knowledge, information, and any notion of public life. This ideology supports a predatory economic order that has had disastrous consequences for vast majorities in the West. And yet it still drives economic and political decisions today.

Absent rapid self-correction by political leadership, the conclusion can rightly be drawn that the existing order is incapable of self-correction. In fact, the predominant governing ideology sees unjust social divide as virtue, the driving force behind human achievement. That this is a fundamentally different theory of social life than recent generations themselves experienced seems to have little bearing on the sustained commitment to it. Ideological commitment in spite of evidence to the contrary indicates a calcified political order.

06.19.12

Gurdjieff’s celestial hierarchy of cannibals???

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:55 pm

The previous post raises an issue for the Gurdjieff Watch groups, who, of course, are well aware of the sci-aspect of Gurdjieff’s writings (at the dawn of the age of sci/fi and its pulp fiction, in the thirties when All and Everything was being written. We have commented on the sufi influence on sci/fi, and the sufi ‘myth’ of hidden invastion of aliens on earth, hinted at by Gurdjieff and Idries Shah. I could never get to the bottom of it).

Gurdjieff injected some speculations about the tampering with human evolution by cosmic beings, causing retardation, and this was partly picked up by J. G. Bennett.
Since Gurdjieff hadn’t the ability to provide solid evidence of this, his views are suspect, especially his scale of beings (the Food Diagram) which is so crudely sadistic (a hierarchy of cosmic cannibals, with God the top cannibal) that we must wonder if Gurdjieff (or one of his idiot ‘esoteric’ sources) wasnt’ just a lunatic psychopath.
It is essential, as we have said here repeatedly, to realize that Gurdjieff has absolutely no real spiritual authority (any more than the pope) and that these concoctions which have created psychological distress in hundres of Gurdjieff students are pure myth, complete fabrications used to justify the discovered vampire tactics of various pseudo-gurus (Da Free John openly confessed to it, proudly calling himself a vampire superman) and psychopaths in the failed byways of the Greater Path to Enlightenment.

Prometheus review

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:43 pm

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/18/prometheus-the-tea-party-in-space/

I haven’t seen the movie, so I am not sure about this negative review, but there is a lingering feeling that the sci/fi take on ‘intelligent design’ is what is triggering this rejection, in part.
Most of these films are such schlock that reviews like this are inevitable (and this one is very cogent).
Whatever the case, the raising of the ID quesion is appropriate and sci fi writers are, ironically, one of the few sources of Darwin doubt in the non-religous community of geeks/scientists….

The problem I have is the crudity of psychological portraiture, and the probable impossibility of this kind of low-level life manipulation.
The real thing, if ‘real’, would require a superadvanced technology completely unknown to us at our present stage.
Meanwhile, whatever the crudities of this plot and its market-driven religious tone, the issue of ‘intelligent design’ in the emergence of life in the ironic sense of alien life forms is a phase of the evolution debate finally coming to the fore.
Since it is a variant of Hoyle’s view, it is actually an original part of the challenge to Darwinism.

What is not suspected is the existence of ‘hyperlife’ forms beyond the physical, and yet neither non-physical nor quite ‘spiritual’.
Whatever the case (and I will have to wait to see the film), the ‘naturalistic superlife’ is one of the logical alternatives in the ID debate, and shows how ‘design’ issues are, ironically, naturalistic ones.

We don’t know, and must hold our breath, but we must suspect, and hope, the universe is designed to make it impossible for the kinds of villains that are the staple of sci/fi pulp fiction to control the production of life.
The horror of the universe would escalate expoentially if that were the case.

I can’t quite figure out how the Prometheus myth is used in this film. But we should recall that Prometheus was the early myth of a ‘leftist’ and the champion of man against the tyranny of the gods.

In any case, the question of life is more than genes and bodies: a figure such as homo sapiens impinges on a realm that flowers in the emergence of ‘buddhas’ and that kind of potential is completely beyond the crude monstrosities of created life in these films.

And then there’s the film’s treatment of religion.

Von Daniken’s thesis, at least in its early incarnation, expressed a sixties’ skepticism about traditional Christianity, since the attribution of ancient cave paintings and Biblical scriptures to the same alien source provided an obvious challenge to conventional dogma.

In Prometheus, on the other hand, the ancient astronauts actually confirm the faith of thecentral character, Elizabeth, largely, it seems, on the basis that the extraterrestrial role in shaping humanity discredits Darwinism, the eternalbête noire of the fundamentalist right. When her drippy boyfriend suggests that proof of interstellar beings manufacturing humanity poses a teensy problem for believers (ya think?), Elizabeth shoots back, like Sarah Palin sassing the New York Times: ‘Well, who made them?’

As James Bradley points out, the religiousity that runs throughout the movie is immediately identifiable as the pop Christianity associated with conservative megachurches, a creed that can assimilate any kind of woo hoo into its theology. For manyAmericans, religion now entails less a coherent set of doctrines than a homemade assemblage scrabbled together from TV evangelists and the Left Behind books and Hallmark cards about angels and whatever else comes tohand, and so there’s no reason why identifying God as a cosmic astronaut should pose any particular dilemma.

‘It’s what I choose to believe,’ says Elizabeth, neatly voicing the contemporary sense that sincerity matters more than truth. ‘True for me’ is, of course, a notion entirely at odds with 2000 years of Christianity, and thus an illustration of the paradoxical secularism now embedded in so much contemporary religion. As we learned during the Bush years, even (or perhaps especially) for fundamentalists, truth has given way for what Stephen Colbert calls ‘truthiness’, a knowledge that resides in the gut rather in the brain, a way of understanding the world that depends more on emotion than intellect.

The Enlightenment, the modern transition, and the confusions of postmodernism

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:51 am

The Enlightenment, the modern transition, and the confusions of postmodernism

The blockquote is the post from yesterday. There has been a huge confusion over the ‘postmodern’ question, trying to savage the enlightenement. But postmodernism always missed the point that ‘decline from the enlightenment’ was the real problem. World history and the Eonic Effect fought this battle for many years and was one of the key texts inducing the passing of postmodernism.
Is there a postmodern age?

Another issues was the obsession in New Age circles with the postmodern antimodernism, as a reactionary religious theme (also strong in some rightwing Xtian groups).
WHEE, here again, was one of the strongest counters to this, and that thematic is close to dying out (after Ken Wilbur, reading my material, sounded a new keynote).
New Ages

The ‘eonic model’ is a very simple finite transition model applied to world history and shows the modern transition, so called, in a larger context in world history. The keynote of the Enlightenment lies in the climax point of that transition: check out the online book.

Decline from the enlightenment

Published on Monday, June 18, 2012 by Common Dreams
Dark Ages Redux: American Politics and the End of the Enlightenment
by John Atcheson
We are witnessing an epochal shift in our socio-political world. We are de-evolving, hurtling headlong into a past that was defined by serfs and lords; by necromancy and superstition; by policies based on fiat, not facts.
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/18-2

People who have these sentiments of decline should read the material on the ‘eonic effect’ in WHEE
to see the background to what’s going and how to deal with it.
The sudden fall-off of the modern transtion, predicted clearly in the eonic model, requires a response, and a critique of the postmodern confusions that have weakened the Enlightenment heritage.
More on this tommorrow: but study the ‘modern transtion’ in detail in light of the so-called Discrete Freedom Sequence in WHEE: here is one useful piece, but read the whole chapter, then backtrack to the discussions of the non-random appearance of democracy in world history, and then the cultural fall off in the wake of the Axial Age…
http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap6_5.htm

06.18.12

Decline from the enlightenment

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:00 am

Decline from the enlightenment

Published on Monday, June 18, 2012 by Common Dreams
Dark Ages Redux: American Politics and the End of the Enlightenment
by John Atcheson
We are witnessing an epochal shift in our socio-political world. We are de-evolving, hurtling headlong into a past that was defined by serfs and lords; by necromancy and superstition; by policies based on fiat, not facts.
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/18-2

People who have these sentiments of decline should read the material on the ‘eonic effect’ in WHEE
to see the background to what’s going and how to deal with it.
The sudden fall-off of the modern transtion, predicted clearly in the eonic model, requires a response, and a critique of the postmodern confusions that have weakened the Enlightenment heritage.
More on this tommorrow: but study the ‘modern transtion’ in detail in light of the so-called Discrete Freedom Sequence in WHEE: here is one useful piece, but read the whole chapter, then backtrack to the discussions of the non-random appearance of democracy in world history, and then the cultural fall off in the wake of the Axial Age…
http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap6_5.htm

Design confusions

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:29 am

From the Preface to DMR
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/75650151/online_selectin-DMR.pdf

The design debate, design vs. natural selection, is destined
to be deadlocked. The strategy of reductionist scientism
has failed here. But so has creationism trying to use design
arguments as proofs of the existence of god. ‘God’ cannot
‘exist’ inside space-time, and is ‘outside’ of ‘existence’ in
a different mode, being, beyond knowledge. This makes
the whole debate nonsensical. And we cannot speak of
‘intelligent’ design in predicates for ‘god’. Monotheists have
lost the distinction between ‘supernatural’ and the ‘spiritual’
inside the realm of the material/natural, but it is present
in the Old Testament as ‘elohim’. That then would be an
empirical issue, a ‘phenomenology’ of ‘spirits’, the ‘heavenly
host’ of the Christians, perhaps. Outlandish, but logical. In
a sense the design argument should be a natural sideline to
scientific research, since teleological machines are a staple
of biochemistry, now confronting the epigenome. But this
has nothing to do with theism, necessarily. The ‘natural
teleology’ of Kant suggests that ‘design’ begins as a naturalistic
phenomenon, whatever the mysteries of unknowable divinity.
And there is a third possibility, as noted: a natural demiurge
(plural?) acting within space-time, science fiction perhaps, but
logical. The materiality of the ‘spiritual’ resolves the questions
of material soul, short of the supernatural, which is beyond
knowledge. The idea of a material soul (as opposed to an
enlightened being beyond soul) is unknown to Christians,
but is known in the Sufistic and Indic traditions. The problem
with design arguments is, ironically, the way in which religious
mythology has distorted the use of the term ‘god’, leaving it
dangerously ambiguous, and design arguments fairy tales.
The ancient prophets warned severely of the use of such terms
of pop theism, reserving reference to a ‘pointing to’, as in the
abstract referent IHVH. The strange record left by the Old
Testament has actually lost the thread of its deep discovery
of historical ‘evolution’, which can indeed impinge on design
questions. But this record conceals a revolutionary discovery,
which the creators of Israelitism did not yet understand.

06.14.12

Buddhism and the unconscious

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:08 am

Posted in General at 12:02 pm by nemo/darwiniana

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-stanley/buddhism-the-unconscious_b_1574785.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

The study of the unconscious is not the same as that of neuroscience, as the Freudian legacy shows. Freud’s legacy is mostly worthless, but his borrowed idea of the unconscious is one of the seminal ideas of modern thought, reaching manifest form in the philosopher Shopenhauer. (The book by Lancleot Law Whyte from a generation ago has ome history on this). Freud’s generation was fixated on Schopenhauer, and the repackaging in Freud, nearly spoiling the idea, is a part of that culture. Then, of course, the confusions of Nietzsche recycled Schopenhauer downscale into a pernicious version of the ‘will to power’, a gross parody of the idea of Schopenhauer.

The problem with thinking on the ‘unconscious’ (which a dose of buddhism might correct) is that it is isolated as the antithesis of ‘conscious’ in the incoherence of the whole idea of consciousness, never distinguished from self-consciousness, what to say of turiya, ‘final consciousness’ or ‘enlightenment. The point is clear enough that motivations and processes can be ‘unconscious’, but the fact remains that the distinction of consciousness and the unconscious is relative, a matter of degree, like shadows in a lighted context or field. Relative to the ‘self-consciousness’ consciousness is itself ‘unconscious’ (??), a reminder that all these terms, in isolation, are a muddle of near slang. Freud’s confusion went on for a long time, so we should be careful here. A dose of Schopenhauer might be of interest. The relativity of the distinction can be seen in Mad Avenue advertising, where the conscious/unconsious suggestions are packaged right out front, in mesmerizing/confusing ways.

Advanced buddhists who fall from the path into evil ( a frequent and sad fate of trashy boddhissattwas denied enlightenment and Tibetan monkish riffraff) enjoy programming the unconscious of others less ‘advanced’ and much of the legacy of Nazism is that of people acting from their unconscious in outrageous out front fashion.
Next time you see the Dalai Lama ask him if Tibetan villains still do this kind of thing on politicians.

06.13.12

Noone can get evolution straight

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:57 am

http://www.amazon.com/Descent-Man-Revisited-World-History/dp/0984702903/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334320689&sr=1-1

The previous post was about the public’s refusal of evolution (or Darwinism?). But the current view is so far from the mark that it is not surprising people are wary.
Keep in mind that scientific biology has bungled the whole question of the evolution of ethics, human consciousness, routinely justifies social darwinism (behind public denials), enforces economic ideology, negates the factor free will, and we haven’t even mentioned theism (probably right not to), and much else.
The worst indictment is the hopeless stupidity and inability to learn on the part of academics and bureaucratic scientists. The ‘best’ scientists are apparently the biggest idiots….
Public full acceptance of evolution in this Darwinian brand would probably be a disaster and a cultural calamity.
Not even religion at its worst is this bad.

Biologists have failed to grasp what evolution is: DMR might give some hints about what science is going wrong.

Meanwhile the New Age groups have produced still another baloney sphere in the ‘evolutionary enlightenment’ and ‘spiritual evolution’ muddles.

06.11.12

Design issues again/DMR

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:36 am

More on the design question from Descent of Man Revisited
More on the design question from Descent of Man Revisited:

Time-outs for theological science fiction…
Although the project of scientific naturalism has born
fruit over and over in the hard sciences, the solution to
the evolution question remains stubbornly metaphysical,
with ‘design’ questions that won’t go away. Naturalists
are often accused of agendas. So, to the charge of
dogmatism we can answer with a clear set of hypotheses:
1. The ‘design’ hypothesis, and a related ‘god hypothesis’. There
are multiple versions here…
2. An hypothesis of ‘meta-nature’: nature in an aspect that
transcends space and time. This possibility would solve many
of the problems with reductionist pseudo-naturalism…
3. A ‘soul’ hypothesis: there exists a (natural!) bio-field behind
the organismic phenomenon that transcends standard spacetime.
This entity may or may not be ‘egoic’,… Tibetan buddhists
thus speak directly of the ‘clear light’ and it is standard in many
traditions to speak of awareness during ‘death’ / ‘sleep’. This
joker in the deck makes ‘evolutionary theory’ (except for our
‘brown paper bag’ brand) difficult (we didn’t say impossible)!
4. Some theological science-fiction: there exists a ‘natural’
theistic entity or entities in the form of a (possibly in some
alternates) self-conscious bio-field (sci-fi versions posit
‘beings made of light’ and/or ‘consciousness’). There are
numerous traditions of beings (Demiurgic powers) of
natural scope, less than ‘god’(?), but beyond the realm of
ordinary humanity. This is the second joker in the deck!
Like wild dogs bordering on domestication at the fringes of a
camp of hominids this set of hypotheses shows the possibility
of wild metaphysics conceivably becoming tamed as science.
Our project of empirical history cannot resolve these questions,
even as the intangible begins to haunt that data. There is a
demand for science here, so far the domain of science fiction.

06.09.12

Bennett’s false take on the ‘demiurgic hypothesis’

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:35 am

Having raised the issue of the ‘demiurgic hypothesis’, I must point out that this is not the same as Bennett’s imaginary construction on the question. He recasts these beings a cannibalistic shadow beings, without any evidence. They are parodies of Gurjieff the ‘devil’.
The reality of the demiurge must include issues of compassionate religion, recurring democracy, and, here Bennett sensed this, involved in secular modernity, including communism, as Bennett again senses. Again, no proof.
The attempt by Gurdjieff (and a host of reactionary gurus in India in the neo-brahmin tradition) to cast spirituality in a conservative anti=modern mode is completely false, and precisely the kind of distortion a higher power is needed to correct.