The Aeon article goes through the whole spiel of QM: with the onset of string theory, despite a good knowledge of math, I was, like most, left behind and the onset of multiverse logic is thus hard to evaluate. But I suspect many of the critics are right in questioning its implications, and the suspicious desire to eliminate ideologically unwanted entities.
We might pursue this a little here, however.
Just in passing I would note that J.G.Bennett tried to produce his own space/time metric based on general relativity, with three dimensions of time and space, that old chestnut from the nineteenth century that Ouspensky fussed over for decades. But Bennett’s take, despite being scientifically dubious despite Bennett’s use of tensor analysis, raised a key question about the nature of time, and more, the tineless. Look closely and you see the paradox’s of QM are often about things that seem to suggest a ‘dimension’ beyond time. Bennett’s time/eternity/hyparxis is a provocative set of ideas if also a trainwreck.
The timeless is an aspect of a lot of borderline not-quite science thinking: take Kant and the categories of space/time: constructs of the mind? This implies what few scholars dare say in public: there is a timeless factor to cognition itself!
Physicists are panic-stricken over the mere Goldilocks principle. Timeless eternity might finish them off completely.
The discussion of teleology is highly treacherous, and I think it is important to be wary if one uses Kant’sideas, and of the way others do. This stance on the third critique of Kant is highly illuminating, but for that reason it has drifted into outer discourses that cite its authority without reference to Kant’s larger system. Marxists do this, for example, but the issues are discussed in the context of historical materialism. In my case I am actually closer to Kant which leads me ironically to stand back a bit.
Can you really use Kant without adopting the perspective of transcendental idealism? Since noone has a fully coherent system of science or philosophy the question is almost idle, but the issue more generally is important. Kant’s system is essential, yet has some really obscure issues of the observer, the categories and the universe. Oddly enough physicists are entering this world with their notions of the observer in cosmology. But Kant’s thinking scores a set of home runs and then has some quirky contradictions in relation to physics. Read the rest of this entry »
A commentary and correction connected to this post.
I have faithfully followed the Kantian take on teleology, very well put in the previous post’s source, and it is the only safe way to start. But in Last and First Men I was beginning to realize that the Kantian ‘as if’ might be too conservative (but it is always good to be wary of teleological questions): teleology might be constitutive of nature. But we won’t easily escape the equivocation of this nearly antinomial question.
The reason for the beginnings of shift here lie in recognizing the obvious: Kant was aware of the need for teleology, but couldn’t find the ‘mechanism’ (!?) and his distinction of regulative/constitutive judgments helped him to get through the baffling muddle of the question.
But I think WHEE, even as it started with Kant (start with the first edition’s tiny quote from Kant), and developed further along those lines, began to clarify how a constitutive teleology might work. A directional system that returns on itself via a series of cyclical repeats of transitions isn’t ‘as if’. It is a form of teleology. It is a distant cousin and more or less in the same family as a thermostat. But there are many many brands of that. Generalized forms of teleology are can be completely abstract and drive toward a goal and may fail to reach it.
An analogy is the progression of classes in a school, from first grade. The teleology is a generalized progression of ‘situations’, not outcomes, whose action may result in ‘education’. That is a valid form of a teleological system of some kind. History seems like that. We can’t see the teleology because the progression is of ‘situations’ or civilizations or epochs.
But Kant’s thinking is so basic we need to keep his thinking close at hand until we can find an analog in science. There is one: I found it years ago, but could take it no further: certain causal systems still work if the ‘causality’ is from the future! The math doesn’t care. Presto, an artifice to produce directionality. (I think). But the mechanics of teleology remains up in the air for science. Teleological systems are not realizable in nature, so sez science… But the issue is not so simple. Thermostatic systems are quite realizable.
But Kant is right in a way: it depends on what we mean by ‘nature’/
12.24.14 at 11:10 am
It was among the early Romantics that a secular conception of genius as a theodicy of the mind first took hold. Newton was not, for the Romantics, the prototypical genius, casting light into the darkest corners of existence. The materialist, mechanistic worldview of Newtonian science could not accommodate the most important features of experience, the human mind and human freedom. In McMahon’s story the part played by Romanticism is chiefly that of mystification (he even at one point compares Romantic claims about the realm of Idea or Spirit made by such writers as Schelling, Novalis, and Friedrich Schlegel to the obscure and rambling metaphysics of the occultist Helena Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society). But in fact at the foundation of much Romantic thought was an attempt at demystification, at clarifying the relationship between mind and world. The transcendental idealist tradition in philosophy, founded by Immanuel Kant, gave rise to a notion of genius that unified the human mind and nature in a distinctive way.
In his Critique of Pure Judgment Kant had argued that Newtonian physics could not explain how complex, self-organizing life forms such as plants and animals could come into existence. Human artifacts with complex mechanisms have an external cause, but plants and animals appear to be self-organizing and self-maintaining. Kant suggested that the best way to describe them was as if they were behaving with an inner purposiveness. The “as if” is important: he did not believe we could prove there was an implicit teleology at work in nature, only that it was a necessary supposition once we tried to comprehend those aspects that mechanistic ideas could not explain.
I should hasten to point out that I have reflected on tbe issue of Samkhya over time but speaking in public made me realize the need for care. I am mindful of software company that bought up a popular program and made it too complicated. The story may be apocryphal, but the point is obvious. Classical Samkhya, check out Larsen’s book by that name, is a coherent and complete subject that has helped thousands of yogis for many centuries back into the mist. The version of Bennett might simply confuse the issue and made the basic terms lose their proper meaning. So we should leave the classic version alone.
But we can certainly study the issue on the sidelines. But it is important not to scramble different things. Purusha/Prakriti make a distinction of such classic character that it is built into Indic religious culture, and Indians often speak in terms of the gunas in ways that are intuitive and often hard to understand by outsiders.
The complicaations in Bennett’s version are very considerable and a cross between the two subjects isn’t going to work.
I am trying after ignoring the medium up to now to do some YouTube videos despite being far too ugly for this ‘Hollywood’ of the Internet. I didn’t bother to turn off the backgtround radio, and will do better next time. Due to various dental calamities due to living in the wilds of the American west I can’t articulate very well anymore, but seem to be relearning speech all over again. I think my main chance here would be part time work as a Halloween goblin to frighten New Agers out of their instant bliss routines with a spectacle of the final stages of buddhist degeneration. This can assist as commentary on the ‘Path’.
I will raise this question and then from now on try to reestablish/maintain a philosemitic mode (never left it actually, not an antisemite). I must immediately answer, no, but… It is very risky for me to adopt this line of thinking, but the sufi shit world created by jews for me was something I feel obligated to expose. Who gives a fucking shit about sufism anyway at this point. Compare sufism to the Indian new age movement, The former has virtually no graduates. The Indian cases scores of enlightened, more or less, associates, and I am referring merely to expatriate new agers.
The attempt to decipher sufism can continue, but my caution would be to NEVER submit to the bullshit sheik routines. It is not a form of yoga or buddhism! And the whole game is complicated by theistic fanatics making sufis conform and sufi atheists squared posing as fanatics to remain invisible. Bye.
But the point should be clear: as a western ‘existentialist’ oblivious on the god question I was marked down from the start. That was stupid on my part. And stupid among sufis. It is very unfair. Atheism is rampant in the Moslem world, and among sufis. What the heck. Go see the movie Body of Lies. They must have hated me more than CIA agents, and the forms of torture reserved for the latter is terrifying. I have to ask why. My ‘null theism’ was far more spiritual than stupid theism. Anyway, won’t wait around to discuss it.
The ‘thieves of baraka’ game had a strong class warfare component. Millions of moslems know of but are excluded from sufi energies, baraka. My experience must have been the ‘antiempire strikes back’. I hope that my fifteen minutes of sufi baraka ended up blessing the poor. But I severely doubt it. I was the poor. But I see the point: sufis have little interest in middle class american new agers, well off and greedy for spiritual search.
My Kornfield reference is a reminder noone will help you if you get in trouble or become a victim.
The game of ‘absolute obedience to a guru’, hardly mentioned by most Indian gurus, is more characteristic of the Gurdjieff style world (it seems absent in buddhism, but beware) and it is no accident it sounds like the Adolf Hitler game. If absolute obedience can be taken as given, a fascist operation becomes possible.
A new age jewish guru must either renounce jewish exclusivism or not teach gentiles. The point should be obvious, but many jews can’t resist judaizing new age sectors and subtly discriminating against gentiles. Is this fair? In my case, with respect to jewish teachers mentioned here, it was true and created havoc.
I would give a lot of money to have never met jews like EJ Gold. Even in public it has been admitted he ‘takes out contracts’ on certain people. I suspect he was targeting me and various others. Such people must leave an ‘ashram’ of suckers alone. If Crowley nuts take ‘magical vows’ to kill some people, you can be in a lifetime of trouble.
The other scenario is to track down reincarnates and try to rip off their ‘baraka’. That seems to have been Ouspensky’s fate. I have discussed this several times as the ‘thieves of baraka’ theme.
Why worry, these people didn’t get away with it. In future, jewish sufis trying to monopolize Gurdjieff behind some form of sufism should simply be avoided.
There is a real world of sufis trying to create souls, the ‘seed plexus’ situation I have discussed but was forced to abandon. Study Gurdjieff carefully to be sure you wish to be an immortal devil.
If it is this bad, the new age movement is dead, or close to it.
I think the guru game must simply pass away. It isn’t even needed. Let me exempt the wiser and less ambitious world of Indian traditional gurus and their antiquated world. Absolute obeience to a guru would make enlightenment impossible.
The do not do the things that Gurdjieff brought to the new age movement, in process failing even to found his own movement, under the protest from his own disciple who got suspicious and baulked.
If you reject gurus in this fashion you can’t really be inconsistent and exempt the ultimate new age guru, Jesus. But his case is so buffered by the intermediate realm of spiritual guides, saints, and gosh knows what/who (I doubt the Christ entity is even accessible in a church of so many millions) that a certain degree of discipline is there, no doubt. But there remain the same suspicions. But Xtianity made a strong effort to create real church, not a cutthroat new age clipjoint for occult cannibals. Here the case of Osho world is ambiguous to me. It always seemed on the level. So let someone else test the waters.
It would be sad to lose this incipient movement as a resource of study. It is unclear what he left behind, and what the nature of dead buddhas really is. But I must leave the caution, leftists beware. You can easily, however, move cleverly through all this without a problem. At this point you could almost do better in a public library.
To jews I would say: assimilate asap and do it right. After sixty years of Israel, Jews are simply a sick case. Try reinventing the jewish joke. Maybe you can talk your way out of it.
My reference to ‘baraka’ is likely to be an obscurantist mystery mongering, and probably a misuse of the term used by sufis. In the sense I use with the term it is no doubt not dissimilar to the state people often glimpse with mindfulness exercises, the latter being a pale version of the real state of ‘higher octave selfawareness’. The experience of consciousness is ‘invariant’ high or low, and the difference is in the clarity or brightness, or music at different octaves. But the state will not linger in a mind that can’t meditate to concentration, and the mind soon devolves downward to ‘ordinary’ awareness, which remains quite the dismal case if you can’t concentrate. The works of Bennett try to fix this idea in the Samkhya language, very crude stuff, viz. ‘hydrogen 48 and 24’. What you reify becomes a potential object of ‘theft’, and so the samsaric wheel spins, around the buddhas. Real buddhas must sooner or later renounce ‘spiritual energies’ and move to something more intrinsic.
The ‘thieves of baraka’ reference is to a set of posts at Darwiniana, use the phrase to search.
I should buffer this slick but ambiguous statement about witchcraft, which is not really the issue. The left/right boundary is not a reference to dems/repubs, and isn’t really correct here, although the reality is close enough, and worse: the left is more than a millennium behind, well, not the right, but de facto conservative/reactionary formations (like sufism). Sufism, I always suspect, has a hidden mafia of super dangerous and hidden ‘witchcraft’, nothing of the kind, but something along the lines of the ‘real lore of the will’ that dummies like Aleister Crowley prattled about with no real knowledge as far as I can see. Historical materialism should be dropped in this situation. It is a joke against serious critics of the right.
My knowledge is limited here: I bypass this world almost completely. It is the ONLY safe strategy.
At the same time the spread of so-called witchcraft is almost alarming (Google ‘coven’) and the left is in danger of being forced to accept this in the name of feminism while the tradition of Christianity with its refusal of pagan/wicca/witchcraft will get shafted. A not very intelligent future is being invoked here. I think the first way to deal with this is to caution women on the issue: witchcraft/casting spells is not a religious right, unless you agree to Crowley rules: the right to murder in retaliation. If you capture someone’s will, they may fight back. Let’s not go down that route again.
Meanwhile the knowledge of the occult by covert agencies is a situation about which citizens should demand a right to know. http://www.amazon.com/review/R3IGEB2OY511Y7/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm is a review of a book on Crowley and the world of the neocons/far right/covert agencies. My take there was that anyone trying to use Crowley was destined to get nowhere, but the hint that the rightwing was using Crowley techniques was a fairly mindboggling revelation. I suspect that the occult is already ingrained in the covert world, and that mindcontrol techniques we don’t know about are entrenched. I don’t know, but I doubt that the intelligence world can find out anything real here beyond the crude techniques of brainwashing. I could be wrong, and my description is perhaps meaningless: the hiding within hiding within ‘need to know’ barriers is so grotesquely large as to be able to include almost anything.
It is important to insist on the citizen right to know. The category ‘Classified’ is bullshit, and fascist to its core.
The problem here is that if an ancient religion like Islam has a subset with knowledge of mindcontrol modern ‘liberal’ open societies will claim an equal right, and the result will be a superdangerous mindcontrol technology in the hands of CIA psychopaths who will promptly make it top secret. After all, rogue sufis (like the jewish Mr. Gold) might sell/give away their sufi lore to such agencies. The charge is not mine (I think it is unfair to that person) but has been made several times by others. Mr. Gold never advanced beyond the level of fakir, so his knowledge is mostly worthless.
One safety here that leaves me skeptical is that the average covert agency type is simply too stupid to get to the bottom of such things. And even the ‘smart’ people they recruit with IQ tests are stupid. Thugs who manufacture ‘manchurian candidates’ could never penetrate the hidden sufi world. But saints can’t either. .
Readers of Last and First Men have read the warning against ‘sufi’ agents trying to program mindcontrol ‘divide and conquer’ occultism to get leftists to kill each other off, and we have staged a clear case this here, with this blogger as the victim, save that I have seen this game enough. You can see how nameless entities program a routine to attack Osho. Sufis also have a hidden leftist slant in hiding somewhere. Why wouldn’t an Osho entity figure this out and stop it? It might assume the sufi guise to betray its own disciples, beware? Why? I am not a disciple, perhaps he doesn’t like me. And destruction of the ‘will’ is, hey, yeah, the path to enlightenment, with help from ghosts. The whole game is nonsense, dangerous nonsense. We can’t figure it out,and this is the reason for the warnings about dead gurus.
What’s the answer? The right has a century head start on the left which has decided that historical materialism decrees that witchcraft doesn’t exist. But the left has a clean slate here.
The left can catch up in twenty four hours, easy…Noone really knows anything, so everyone is in the same Kantian metaphysical ‘dunno’.
If you need to withstand witchcraft never buy any books on the subject. It is all sucker bait. Meditate. Empty your mind. Try to understand your unconscious. Not easy, it’s unconscious.
The case here is an exception because I was out in the open and practically advertised my situation and invited attempted invultuation. IN my case all my enemies attacks cancel out. And we have brought the Gurdjieff entity to agree to the extent that a debrief of the Gurdjifeff world would be let alone. At this point such figures have to abandon a centuries old failure and move to the future.
The legacy of Gurdjieff is slight: it amounts to very little, so what’s the difference at this point. Once the enneagram is exposed the whole remainder amounts to ‘meditation in action’. Even the Sam Harris gang can do that better than Gurdjieff types.
Sufis don’t seem to like their victims a chance to escape via meditation.
The Osho world remains as an invaluable resource for the legacies of Indian antiquity. A will controlled by that astral entity is always a liability. But the coast is clear up to a point.
Still, it should be considered that ‘spiritual surrender’ games are dangerous for leftists. They aren;t needed.
12.16.14 at 1:18 pm ·
I wouldn’t take Sam Harris seriously as an intellectual if he didn’t have the potential to create an idiotic movement. Let us note that he doesn’t believe that humans have any choice, will, intention, volition, agency, etc. He ends up falling into that ancient dialectical trap that the Buddha avoided:
Unlike many of his contemporaries — and many thinkers before and since — the Buddha did not try to reason from abstract principles down to direct experience. As we noted in the Introduction, the Buddha’s contemporaries were influenced by the premier science of their time — astronomy — in the way they viewed experience, and it is easy to see prejudices derived from astronomy at work in their thought: that the universe is composed of discrete bodies acting in line with regular, linear causes; and that human knowledge of these processes has no impact on the way they behave. These prejudices, when applied to human experience, resulted in what the Buddha called theories of being, or what we today would call theories of order: that the processes of the universe can be totally explained in terms of physical principles that follow linear causal patterns unaffected by human intervention. The various conclusions that developed out of this approach differed primarily in how one’s soul — viewed in various ways either as a discrete thing or as a more abstract principle — was to look for release from this vast cosmic machine. Some insisted that action was illusory; others, that action was real but totally determined by fixed rules, serving only to bind one to the impersonal cycle.
In reaction to the theories of being, the Lokayatans proposed a theory of non-being or absolute chaos that, like all reactionary ideologies, was defined largely by what it denied. Although it admitted the primacy of the physical universe, it denied that any causal laws operated on the observable, human level. Everything, the Lokayatans said, was totally spontaneous, random, and chaotic. No personal souls were observable, and thus human identity was composed only of the temporary conjunction of elements that made up the body, terminating when those elements separated at death.
In a manner typical of his approach to problems, the Buddha avoided both sides of this argument by focusing directly on the level of immediate experience and exploring the implications of truths that both sides overlooked. Instead of fixing on the content of the views expressed, he considered the actions of those who were expressing the views. The logic either of total determinism or of total chaos must end in the conclusion that purposeful action is pointless, and yet adherents of both schools continued to act in purposeful ways. The fact that each side advanced an interpretation of reality implied that both agreed that there were skillful and unskillful ways of approaching the truth, for each insisted that the other used unskillful forms of observation and argumentation to advance its views. Thus the Buddha looked directly at skillful action in and of itself, worked out its implications in viewing knowledge itself as a skill — rather than a body of facts — and found that those implications carried him all the way to release.
We have tried to expose EJ Gold here many times and at this point we can note that our effort to start a dialogue with other jewish new age celebrities failed. They no doubt recoil in horror, next to a failure to understand the genre of spiritual cannabilism exposed by Rudranandra. I never realized the extent to which jewish new agers took to this book with a kind of sly schmuckhood given spiritual ambition to play overman to gentile idiots. I am sorry to raise an ‘antisemitic’ innuendo, but not sorry enough to desist. The age of jewish new age celebrities is passing rapidly, and let’s instead wish them luck as their luck runs out. Someday we may get lucky with a jewish buddha.
Let me note that the Osho entity is no picnic either, and in general dead buddhas are an entire mystery. Rudraanda should have been clearer when writing on such a dangerous topic.
It is not the fault of the jews, and is a form of malevolence springing from sufism, and other places, and is clearly hinted at in Gurdjieff material. Indian gurus are more mysterious.
I pursue this discussion because I have no other choice and need to find the escape from sufi predators.
With shark sufis like Gold the dangers for both jewish and especially gentile seekers is severe. The counterpoint is that such ogres can’t exploit more than a small minority, often those who approach the teaching and gave their consent as ‘surrender’ and then departed. The majority in the ashram must be oblivious to what’s going on.
Giving consent is an act of will and you would do well to withdraw it once you see the game, if you still can. From that point on one is a sitting ducks with no overt/legal connection to the source of exploitation. What a nightmare for the new age movement. The movement should recast itself completely asap. The worst case I know of is Da Free John, so the genre, invented by gentiles, whether in India or by sufis, is no jewish specialty. But the game is likely to spread, and seems to be entering jewish culture mixed with chauvinism. But Da Free John openly confessed to playing Dracula.
We need a grim finality to the oldfashioned guru game out of context, with a question mark about the indigenous Indian brand at it source which is not liable for the degeneration at its fringes.
We live in a democratic age and there is not basis for this kind of kowtow world. And at its worst we see the connection to fascism.
Spiritual surrender should mean that a student gives respectful audience to a teacher, with the courtesy to listen and learn. That’s it. This gets mixed with issues of surrender to god, or Jesus Christ. These are difficult variants that are not so open to exploitation.
The grotesque attempts to ply invultuation of the will of the unsuspecting as a spiritual duty is an abortion of the tradition, but one that no doubt has its own legacy from antiquity. That brand is fully active in the Gurdjieff legacy and Gold et al. take on it. It can be a deadly mistake, so make it an axiom of spiritual research that you will ‘surrender your ego’ to the void of your own mind, but not your will to another spiritual operator. Please note that noone will call this a misunderstanding because they would never invite the victims to a public discussion. I twice offered Jack Kornfield a chance for public discussion.
When you get in trouble here noone will help you. So be wary, and don’t start.
There are no doubt mysteries here in the relationships of gurus and very close disciples with a close personal contact where the exchange of energies presumes some kind of complete surrender.
I am suspicious there: instead of enlightenment there is the transmission of some kind of fake via spiritual energy that can only occur if the donor can control the gift and the return of the energy in a closed circuit. Otherwise their energies will dissipate very swiftly. I can understand and admire the nerve of gurus who will take that risk and only with total surrender and control of the ‘disciple’ can the transfer avoid being lost to the winds or ripped off by sharks who know the genre. I can’t figure it out, and it doesn’t concern the 99 percent who are for better or worse total outside this world. You might read Shri Anirvan’s book (in the sidebar, and reviewed by me at Amazon) for a case of the super-lickspittle at the feet of the master.
The only path free of this is the path of enlightenment!
Mr. Gold is beyond my understanding, but he springs from the avowedly demonic world of Gurdjieff and completely anonymous sufis who use such people to set up victims as food.
We had a post on the eightfold way, and its simple depiction of a first stage of ‘hearing’. That’s all surrender could be. The local Indic brands may no doubt look down on mere Hinayana, but I would take the lesson to heart.
Dhammalsaddhalpabbajja: A layman hears a Buddha teach the Dhamma, comes to have faith in him, and decides to take ordination as a monk;
sila: He adopts the moral precepts;
That’s the real and simple answer: you bring courtesy and listening to a source and the path begins by hearing.
The groupies around gurus don’t understand the issues, and aren’t surrendered.
I speak for those who fell in the trap and have endured extreme sufferings from attempted psychic murder, invultuation, telepathic programming mindfuck, experimental occultism, artificially created mental diseases, and so on. These can occur in former disciples distant from the rogue guru, and even worse in a next life after all memory of the sourcing moment is lost. The latter is a calamity and should be avoided by avoiding surrender to gurus, period. I think that the reincarnation of Ouspensky is suffering this calamity with no ability to remember his previous lives, and no help from those who know but wish to keep him asleep. Ouspensky never had a fair trial, to say the least, and we confront the spectacle of someone who nearly created the new age movement with his classic ISOM now being terrorized by those who benefited from his genius. Probably they don’t want anyone to know what can happen to disciples, and they are in any case afraid in the solemn guru mediocrity of a person as talented as Ouspensky was.
Moral: don’t indulge in surrender rituals. The word is a mistranslation of some unknown concept from antiquity. Simple listening, as in the Hinayana example, is an obvious ‘better strategy’.