Comic World

 

"DC: Washington is being taken over by DC: Comics." - Salman Rushdie

 

The world is increasingly understood as a comic story, involving superheroes and supervillains. Confusingly, they are often one and the same. Donald Trump is the superhero for conservatives and the supervillain for liberals. Heroes and villains are now shapeshifters. They no longer reflect a common narrative. Their heroism or villainy depends on where you stand in the culture wars.

 

Next time you go to watch a superhero movie, imagine what it would be like if the superhero kept "flickering" into his opposite - the supervillain. Would you be able to follow the story? Whom would you be rooting for? Wouldn't the plot be all over the place? You wouldn't understand anyone's motivation. The story would be pure chaos.

 

Or imagine you were in a cinema where half of the audience were booing and hissing one character while the other half were cheering and applauding the same character.

 

What happens when one group of people worship the Devil and call him God, while everyone else just calls him the Devil? That's what Abrahamism is all about. The Gnostics said that Jehovah was the Demiurge (aka Satan).

 

A conventional narrative is not meant to be like a sports event. You are not meant to have two sets of supporters rooting for different characters, and having opposite views of heroism and villainy.

 

For most people, the world is now astoundingly bewildering and the reason is that the narrative is no longer clear, no longer universally believed. Today, you have to choose how to view the narrative, knowing that half of the population will choose to view it in the opposite way. The narrative is now a question of perspective. It has ceased to be Archetypal, i.e. the same for everyone.

 

Back in medieval Catholic Europe, probably 99% percent of the people agreed with the central narrative. Everyone knew what was good and what was evil. It was essential to obey God and resist the Devil. Everyone knew which was which. But the Renaissance, Protestantism, the Age of Reason, the Enlightenment, Scientific Materialism, Capitalism, Fascism, Nazism, Communism, Nihilism, Existentialism, Modernism, Absurdism, New Ageism, and Postmodernism destroyed that agreed narrative and created a vast plurality of stories. Subjectivity, relativism, "all truths", "all paths", "everyone is entitled to their opinion", "everyone's opinion must be respected", etc. has changed everything.

 

Nietzsche proclaimed God dead. Others proclaimed that the properties associated with the dead God were in fact never any other than those of the Devil. Today, God and the Devil are interchangeable, hence so are good and evil. What the conservatives call God and good are denounced as the Devil and evil by liberals, and vice versa. That leads to total confusion on the one hand, and also more fanaticism than in the whole of human history. It is an untenable situation … a total fracture of the human psyche.

 

The conservatives have effectively become expressions of the Freudian Id - associated with extreme individualism and detestation of the collective - while the liberals are expressions of the Freudian Superego, consumed with political correctness, multiculturalism, tolerance, and virtue signaling.

 

The human race has lost its mind.

 

In Freud's model of the psyche, the Ego mediated between the Id and Superego. The Ego, the mediator, is exactly what humanity has lost. There is now a permanent standoff between Id and Superego, and no possibility of anything ever serving as a bridge between them. Polarization is total. It is an unprecedented situation in human history, and its ferocity is enormously magnified by social media. Something will have to give. The situation is unsustainable.

 

Imagine medieval Europe in which 50% of the people called Jesus Christ Satan and branded the Catholic Church the Temple of Satan. The psyche of the ordinary person would have been radically different. This situation more or less came to pass with the birth of Protestantism, which routinely referred to the Pope and the Church as the Antichrist. Yet Protestants believed in Christ, held the Bible sacred, and did many things in a similar way to Catholics. Hence the rupture was nothing like as severe as it might have been. Even so, horrific religious wars broke out.

 

Now look at today's America. Half of the nation regards as absolutely true what the other half considers an irredeemable lie. The two halves - liberals and conservatives - are inversions of each other. News comes in two varieties: true news (what your side says) and fake news (whatever the other side says). American is a broken society.

 

Ironically, although American Protestants still despise American Catholics, and vice versa, they often find themselves on the same side - the conservative side. But that unholy alliance will never be sustained since many Protestants openly say that the Pope and the Jesuits are evil, and part of a grand "New World Order" conspiracy to destroy WASP America.

 

Liberals are often secularists, humanists, agnostics, atheists, followers of Eastern religion, New Agers, spiritualists, relativists, subjectivists, followers of scientism, and so on. Most are indifferent to religion. The remainder are never fanatical about it, unlike the conservatives who are invariably Fundamentalists, Extremists and Evangelicals.

 

Can you imagine the horror of mixing every day with your opposite, with your enemy, with the type of people that make you sick and yet who call you sick? That's the world we live in now.

 

Why do so many people love superhero movies? It's because superheroes can resolve problems, evidently what no one can do in real life. Superheroes are the human fantasy of bringing the worldwide mess to an end. They are the new generation of the old gods.

 

Humanity now has a comic-book mentality, with a comic-book understanding of reality, revolving around bizarre conspiracies and aliens. Many right wingers believe that shapeshifting, pan-dimensional, extraterrestrial lizards are running the world! Is that a comic-book idea, or something that reflects reality? Isn't it incredible that billions of people now seem genuinely unsure of the answer?

 

Right wingers are increasingly claiming that the earth is flat and at the center of the universe, just as many medieval Christians once believed. Right wingers are traveling back in time to the pre-scientific age, the age of Creationism and anti-evolution.

 

Salman Rushdie said, "We are being ruled by grotesques." We certainly are. Politicians are monstrous caricatures. They are not real people. One reason why Donald Trump won the Republican presidential nomination was that his rivals actually seemed like robots. They were so constrained by the fear of saying the wrong thing that they could barely say anything at all. At no time were they authentic. Their humanity disappeared and they became machines. Trump, by contrast, reveled in saying the "wrong" thing, and did so with so much glee and enthusiasm that he seemed exactly the same as his rancid, deplorable base, who therefore flocked to him as if he were the Messiah.

 

People now exist in a permanent state of cognitive dissonance because they are permanently presented with two opposite narratives, which make sense of reality in opposite ways. People try to reduce the cognitive dissonance by hanging out only with their own kind, their own tribe. They seek out the echo chamber of their own beliefs. They wallow in "indignation porn". Being indignant turns them on.

 

Yet they can't ignore the world. Despite themselves, they keep encountering the enemy's narrative in which they themselves are presented as the evil force in the world. This infuriates them, making them even more fanatical. The backfire effect kicks in with a vengeance. This states that given evidence against their beliefs, people reject the evidence and believe even more strongly.

 

Everything becomes more and more polarized. People's positions become entrenched, and soon enough cast in stone. No one converts to the other side. This can only end in one way - violence. Every country will be consumed by Civil War.

 

The war always begins as a "Culture War", which can go on for decades, making government impossible. And when government breaks down, the age of the Caesars begins. Physical war erupts, just as it did in Caesar's time. The Age of the Strong Man begins.

 

Are you ready for the real Game of Thrones? That TV show is not entertainment, it's prophecy.

 

Who's laughing now?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Origin Story

Superheroes can't be understood without their origin story.

What about the origin of the universe? No one can understand the universe without understanding its origin. If you get that wrong, you automatically get everything else wrong.

Humanity has invented some spectacularly silly origin stories for the universe. Abrahamists say that the universe originated in God, but they can give no origin story or explanation for God. Followers of Eastern religion point to some Cosmic Consciousness or bare consciousness, but, equally, they can give no origin story or explanation for this cosmic mental entity.

Worst of all is science's origin story. It says that the universe originates in nothing at all. By magic, it spontaneously emerges out of non-existence. Its origin has no cause and no reason, hence is a miracle, which makes it laughable that science regards itself as different from religion. It's the worst religion of all. You need absolute faith to believe the impossible nonsense of scientism.

 


 

 

 


The Walking Dead

"In fiction, a MacGuffin is a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or another motivator that the protagonist pursues, often with little or no narrative explanation. The MacGuffin's importance to the plot is not the object itself, but rather its effect on the characters and their motivations." - Wikipedia

In the zombie apocalypse tale The Walking Dead, the zombies are a MacGuffin. Given the title, you would expect the story to be all about zombies. They ought to be foregrounded. In fact, they are nothing but a fixed background. The real story is about relations between humans, not relations between humans and zombies. The zombies have no agency. They never evolve. They are non-story characters. They have no character arc. In many ways, they resemble NPCs - Non-Player Characters. Technopedia defines an NPC as: "A video game character that is controlled by the game's artificial intelligence (AI) rather than by a gamer. Non-player characters serve a number of purposes in video games, including as a plot device: NPCs can be used to advance the storyline."

People don't watch The Walking Dead for the zombies. The zombies are not the center of the action. They set the apocalyptic atmosphere. They are like the weather.

 

 

 

The Evolution of Consciousness Through Dreams

Humans currently have two basic types of consciousness: waking consciousness and sleeping (dream) consciousness. But imagine that thousands of years ago these were actually mixed. Ancient humans were neither awake nor asleep but in a liminal state in between, a hybrid state - a kind of waking dream. Wouldn't that explain why humans were so religious back in the day? If you dreamt of a god or an angel, and this then mixed in with your waking consciousness, you would naturally be convinced gods and angels were real, wouldn't you? Imagine that humans were "word-suggestible", i.e. to suggest something to them was to immediately make them think of it and to picture it and reify it.

Thus hallucinated content was not distinguished from "real" content but always blended with it, and taken to be on a par with it and every bit as real. After all, what means was there to differentiate the one from the other? So, Moses - looking at a burning bush - started to have auditory hallucinations and deemed they were originating from the bush. He took the bush to be a manifestation of God. But all of this was happening in his head, not in reality. However, he told others and they, being as suggestible as he was, immediately believed him. To put it another way, "lies" were much more ambiguous in the ancient world. If anyone reported a vision, no one accused them of lying. They took it as an authentic message from the gods which had to be interpreted.

Nietzsche wrote, "Either one does not dream, or one does so interestingly. One should learn to spend one's waking life in the same way: not at all, or interestingly." It's time the mediocre followed this advice. Being mediocre is unacceptable. Every human must strive to be exceptional, optimized, of the highest possible quality.

Nietzsche wrote, "In the dream … we have the source of all metaphysics. Without the dream, men would never have been incited to an analysis of the world. Even the distinction between soul and body is wholly due to the primitive conception of the dream, as also the hypothesis of the embodied soul, whence the development of all superstition, and also, probably, the belief in God. 'The dead still live: for they appear to the living in dreams.' So reasoned mankind at one time, and through many thousands of years."

If dreams and waking were once merged in a single state then to see the dead in a dream was to see them in real life too. This would certainly have fostered a religious and spiritual outlook.

Nietzsche regarded the dreaming self as modern man's link to primitive humanity, as a suggestible, irrational, hallucinatory, atavistic remnant of the pre-rational human mind.

We can imagine four scenarios: 1) Waking and Dreaming separated; 2) Waking and Dreaming merged; 3) Waking-only consciousness; 4) Dream-only consciousness.

Today, people belong to category 1). In the past, they belonged to category 2). Insane people are those in category 4). As for category 3), there is a condition called aphantasia where a sufferer does not possess a functioning "mind's eye", meaning that a person cannot visualize imagery.

One sufferer of aphantasia wrote, "Generally people who cannot visualize don't dream visually either. I probably have the worst aphantasia - absolutely no visual experience, but I still dream, just without any visuals. I describe it as dreaming in concepts, I know what's happening, I just can't see any of it occurring."

Isn't that extraordinary? - dreaming without visuals, dreaming in concepts. Such a way of dreaming could be a path to the very highest conceptual knowledge - pure mathematical concepts, pure reasoning, pure absorption by the Principle of Sufficient Reason itself.

As a counterpoint, another sufferer of aphantasia wrote, "So when I close my eyes nothing happens. Imagining most things is very difficult and I feel a bit stupid sometimes when I simply am stumped at recalling all sorts of stuff. How is it then that my dreams are so realistic and fully formed that I have to remind myself in the dream that it's not actually happening? I make worlds appear, characters come to life, detailed spaceships as big as cities slowly crashing into planets, stories that shock me and some stuff so detailed that, again, I stop in the dream and look up thinking 'my brain is making this up, it must be fucking amazing to be able to do this.' And not just once in a while either: every week at least. How does my sleeping brain manage this so spectacularly yet I can't visualize a sunset with my eyes closed when I'm awake? Anyone else have this and some tips on getting some of the subconscious stuff into my waking state?"

Isn't that amazing? Everything is a spectrum condition, and we are all somewhere on the dreaming and visualization spectrum.

If we associate the dreaming mind with intuition and the waking mind with its opposite (sensing), then we can imagine that autistics have poor quality dreams or no dreams at all, since they are so geared up for seeing external sensory images generated by "the world" rather than internal intuitive images generated by the unconscious.

The first commentator said to the second, "So if you have visual dreams but no waking imagination, perhaps practice a little with imagining shapes, etc. and see if you actually can. … If you can do it in your dreams, you must be able to do it in your wakeful state. So it must be a matter of practice. For me, without visual dreams or waking state, I feel like I couldn't do it no matter how much practice I had. But the thing is, I don't think anyone knows for sure. This stuff needs to be studied so we can have definitive answers."

A third person wrote, "My dad doesn't have aphantasia but he cannot visualize in color but he can visualize colors in his dreams, so I have come to the assumption that maybe that part of our brain works better while asleep."

Some people - intuitives - have a strong mind's eye. Others - sensing types - are likely to have a much weaker mind's eye and, in some cases, even a non-existent mind's eye, hence cannot visualize anything. They need external sense organs to have sensory experiments whereas intuitives have potent internal sense organs, i.e. they can vividly perceive internally generated content rather than external content created by the world at large. Aphantasia is often linked to autistic spectrum disorder.

Nietzsche wrote, "The function of the brain which is most encroached upon in slumber is the memory; not that it is wholly suspended, but it is reduced to a state of imperfection as, in primitive ages of mankind, was probably the case with everyone, whether waking or sleeping. Uncontrolled and entangled as it is, it perpetually confuses things as a result of the most trifling similarities, yet in the same mental confusion and lack of control the nations invented their mythologies, while nowadays travelers habitually observe how prone the savage is to forgetfulness, how his mind, after the least exertion of memory, begins to wander and lose itself until finally he utters falsehood and nonsense from sheer exhaustion. Yet, in dreams, we all resemble this savage. Inadequacy of distinction and error of comparison are the basis of the preposterous things we do and say in dreams, so that when we clearly recall a dream we are startled that so much idiocy lurks within us. The absolute distinctness of all dream-images, due to implicit faith in their substantial reality, recalls the conditions in which earlier mankind were placed, for whom hallucinations had extraordinary vividness, entire communities and even entire nations laboring simultaneously under them. Therefore: in sleep and in dream we make the pilgrimage of early mankind over again."

So, for Nietzsche, dreams are a time machine, a portal that takes us back to our primitive roots when we were much less good at separating dreams and reality.

The waking mind is shaped by external content, by materialism. The dreaming mind is shaped by internal content, by idealism. Materialists see the world as a lifeless machine, or cosmic casino. The ancients saw it as a living organism, full of minds and spirits (animism). That is consistent with dream content being accepted as real. In a dream, you could easily imagine talking to a bush, but not in waking reality. A dream mind invariably puts mind into everything, hence is animistic. A waking, sensory mind - such as that of an autistic scientist - can't even begin to comprehend animism. For them, everything is lifeless matter with no mental content. They even end up applying that belief to themselves and portray themselves as mere biological material machines, devoid of free will. Animism is all about choice. Autistic scientism denies that choice exists at all.

Imagine people with no mind's eye telling people with a mind's eye that the mind's eye does not exist, that there is no evidence for it, hence there is evidence of its absence. That's what autistic followers of scientism are effectively telling the world. The truth is that these people are mentally impaired. They have defective brains. Never listen to them.

An animistic worldview is sure to be the origin of superstition and religious mythologies. Yet this same worldview, when transformed into mathematics, can reveal the mental secrets of mental existence.

Nietzsche wrote, "Everyone knows from experience how a dreamer will transform one piercing sound, for example, that of a bell, into another of quite a different nature, say, the report of cannon. In his dream he becomes aware first of the effects, which he explains by a subsequent hypothesis and becomes persuaded of the purely conjectural nature of the sound. But how comes it that the mind of the dreamer goes so far astray when the same mind, awake, is habitually cautious, careful, and so conservative in its dealings with hypotheses? Why does the first plausible hypothesis of the cause of a sensation gain credit in the dreaming state? (For in a dream we look upon that dream as reality, that is, we accept our hypotheses as fully established). I have no doubt that as men argue in their dreams to-day, mankind argued, even in their waking moments, for thousands of years: the first causa, that occurred to the mind with reference to anything that stood in need of explanation, was accepted as the true explanation and served as such… In the dream this atavistic relic of humanity manifests its existence within us, for it is the foundation upon which the higher rational faculty developed itself and still develops itself in every individual. Dreams carry us back to the earlier stages of human culture and afford us a means of understanding it more clearly."

When we dream, we can bring back any episode in our life. In other words, our dreaming self contains vestiges of every self we've inhabited since being born. Any of these can be resurrected in sleep. And people we knew but are now no longer part of our life, or are even dead, can be resurrected in our dreams.

The dreaming mind thinks differently from the waking mind, which means it offers an alternative route to knowledge, which can often be much more powerful. Many people have gone to sleep with a difficult problem rattling around in their head, then woken up in the morning with the answer, as clear as day. It certainly wasn't their waking consciousness that worked through the problem.

Nietzsche had a dismissive attitude towards the dreaming mind (as the "conscious aspect" of the unconscious mind). He thought it was a primitive problem-solver, disconnected from critical thinking. He saw it as being mired in emotion, superstition, irrationalism and animism. In fact, it can go both ways. It can serve as both a Higher Self, with vastly superior thinking abilities, or a Lower Self, little better than a caveman or animal.

Nietzsche wrote, "If we close our eyes the brain immediately conjures up a medley of impressions of light and color, apparently a sort of imitation and echo of the impressions forced in upon the brain during its waking moments. And now the mind, in co-operation with the imagination, transforms this formless play of light and color into definite figures, moving groups, landscapes. What really takes place is a sort of reasoning from effect back to cause. …

"The imagination is continually interposing its images inasmuch as it participates in the production of the impressions made through the senses day by day: and the dream-fancy does exactly the same thing - that is, the presumed cause is determined from the effect and after the effect: all this, too, with extraordinary rapidity, so that in this matter, as in a matter of jugglery or sleight-of-hand, a confusion of the mind is produced and an after-effect is made to appear a simultaneous action, an inverted succession of events, even. From these considerations we can see how late strict, logical thought, the true notion of cause and effect must have been in developing, since our intellectual and rational faculties to this very day revert to these primitive processes of deduction, while practically half our lifetime is spent in the super-inducing conditions [dreaming]."

The problem is that humanity has mostly not moved on to strict, logical thought. Only rationalists have become Logos thinkers. Most of humanity - the feeling, sensing and intuitive types - have remained mired in dreamy, Mythos thinking, inventing all sorts of false causes, or even claiming that there are no causes at all.

 

 

 

 

 

The Artist As Dreamer

"Even the poet, the artist, ascribes to his sentimental and emotional states causes which are not the true ones. To that extent he is a reminder of early mankind and can aid us in its comprehension." - Nietzsche

Reality is mathematical. But our thoughts concern words, not numbers; stories, not equations. By using manmade languages rather than Nature's language, we automatically falsify reality, yet most humans regard the falsified reality as real, and real reality - mathematical reality - as false. That's why humanity cannot understand reality and continually invents ludicrous theories about existence, mostly based on the emotional and mystical stories it tells itself in terms of religion, and the sensory story it tells itself in terms of science. Humanity does nothing but make up imaginary causes. As Nietzsche said, "What, ultimately, are man's truths? Merely his irrefutable errors."

 

Dreams Within Dreams

Everyone has experienced the phenomenon of dreams within dreams. The whole of reality is a dream with a dream. The objective world is the collective dream, and our individual dreams are subjective dreams within that objective dream.

Subjective dreams within subjective dreams are fascinating. How does the mind construct these layers, and why is it motivated to do so? Do they reveal special information? Are they taking us deeper, closer to the truth? How many layers of dreams within dreams can we have? How close to the foundations of existence can they take us? How does science's doctrine of lifeless, mindless, material atoms with no free will account for dreams within dreams?

 

 

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Agamemnon Versus Abraham

"In Greek mythology, Iphigenia appears as the Greek fleet gathers in Aulis to prepare for war against Troy. At Aulis, the leader of the Greeks, Agamemnon, accidentally kills a deer in a grove sacred to the goddess Artemis. She punishes him by interfering with the winds so that his fleet cannot sail to Troy. The seer Calchas reveals that, to appease Artemis, Agamemnon must sacrifice his eldest daughter, Iphigenia. Agamemnon at first refuses but, pressured by the other commanders, eventually agrees.

"Iphigenia and her mother Clytemnestra are brought to Aulis under the pretext of a marriage to Achilles, but soon discover the marriage is a ruse. In some versions of the story, Iphigenia remains unaware of her imminent sacrifice until the last moment, believing that she is led to the altar to be married.

"In some versions, Iphigenia is not actually sacrificed. … Some sources claim that Iphigenia was taken by Artemis to Tauris in Crimea at the moment of the sacrifice, and that the goddess left a deer or a goat in her place." - Wikipedia

Abraham was ordered by his God to murder his son for no reason, and agreed without hesitation. Agamemnon was ordered to murder his daughter to appease an offended goddess, and refused. Only the pressure exerted by his fellow commanders, and the fact that the war against Troy could never happen without this sacrifice, forced Agamemnon to comply, with the utmost reluctance and horror, and with no fig leaf that he was undergoing some test of faith. An immoral goddess had made him commit an immoral crime because he had offended her. What was the "excuse" of Abraham's God?

Agamemnon was under no illusion that he was involved in a sick game with a goddess, and was being blackmailed. He did not love the goddess. He obeyed her because she was a vastly superior power. Isn't Agamemnon's tale of human sacrifice infinitely more believable than Abraham's? Isn't Agamemnon much more human and sympathetic than Abraham? Agamemnon would never under any circumstances have worshiped and loved - and had faith in - Abraham's God.

 

  

 

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Participation Mystique

"Participation mystique, or mystical participation, refers to the instinctive human tie to symbolic fantasy emanations. This symbolic life precedes or accompanies all mental and intellectual differentiation. The concept is closely tied to that of projection because these contents, which are often mythological motifs, project themselves into situations and objects, including other persons, as readily as we project color into the objects we perceive." - Wikipedia

"Lévy-Bruhl asserted that 'primitive' peoples had been misunderstood by modern Westerners. Rather than thinking like moderns, just less rigorously, 'primitives' harbor a mentality of their own. 'Primitive' thinking is both 'mystical' and 'prelogical'. By 'mystical', Lévy-Bruhl meant that 'primitive' peoples experience the world as identical with themselves. Their relationship to the world, including to fellow human beings, is that of participation mystique. By 'prelogical', Lévy-Bruhl meant that 'primitive' thinking is indifferent to contradictions. 'Primitive' peoples deem all things identical with one another yet somehow still distinct. A human is at once a tree and still a human being." - R.A. Segal

"Participation mystique is a term derived from Lévy-Bruhl. It denotes a peculiar kind of psychological connection with objects, and consists in the fact that the subject cannot clearly distinguish himself from the object but is bound to it by a direct relationship which amounts to partial identity. The further we go back into history, the more we see personality disappearing beneath the wrappings of collectivity. And if we go right back to primitive psychology, we find absolutely no trace of the concept of an individual. Instead of individuality we find only collective relationship or what Lévy-Bruhl calls participation mystique. … Lévy-Bruhl later retracted this term under pressure of adverse criticism, but I believe that his critics were wrong. It is a well-known psychological fact that an individual may have an unconscious identity with some other person or object. ... Lévy-Bruhl's view has recently been disputed by ethnologists, not because this phenomenon does not occur among primitives, but because they have not understood it. Like so many other specialists, these critics prefer to know nothing of the psychology of the unconscious." - Jung

Thousands of years ago, participation mystique was the basic mode of human mental operation. The boundaries between dreaming and waking were blurred, as they were between different people, and between people and objects. Humanity had a liminal psyche, meaning that its psyche occupied a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold, blurring distinctions between things.

The development of consciousness has involved creating ever firmer boundaries between sleeping and waking, dreams and reality. Whenever these boundaries fail, we get all of the weird paranormal phenomena and strange experiences that people report. Ultimately, insanity is the result when all of the boundaries fail and collapse.

The ancients were radically different from the moderns. Homer's Iliad and the Odyssey - where gods are continuously popping up amidst human affairs and giving blood-curdling orders (such as Agamemnon having to make a human sacrifice of his daughter) - show that participation mystique was standard.

The ancients were not more primitive versions of moderns. They had a drastically different psyche, one that was mystical, pre-logical, and imbued with animism (as opposed to materialism).

The ancients experienced the world as intimately connected to themselves rather than separate from themselves. They saw the world as being an active agent, a subject, not a lifeless object (as scientists think of it).

Lévy-Bruhl conceived of the "primitive" mentality sociologically, whereas, for Jung, it was psychological, and much more concerned with the unconscious, with anima/animus, the shadow, projection, and so on.

Arguably, ancient history contains few genuinely conscious people, and most of those would have been philosophers. Plato seems highly conscious (much more conscious than nearly everyone today), yet we find his mentor Socrates claiming to be directed in some way by a "daemon", and taking the Delphic Oracle seriously.

The Crusades, Inquisition and witch burnings show that the medieval mind was far from conscious in the modern sense and imbued with participation mystique. The medieval mind perceived devils, demons and spirits everywhere. The barriers between the living and dead were weak, and at certain times of the night, and special days of the year, the barriers were deemed practically non-existent. Hell and Purgatory - full of dead souls; or rather the souls of the dead - were deemed to be right here on earth, with Hell underneath us, and Purgatory on a remote mountain on an island on the other side of the world.

The spirits of the dead were forever heading towards Hell, or Purgatory, or, occasionally, being directly raptured up into Heaven. Spirit boats, carrying the spirits of the dead, crossed the seas and oceans, and might sometimes be glimpsed and directly encountered by seamen.

Modern consciousness arises thanks to the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, and the rise of science. In other words, it's only about 500 years old. Even worse, given that billions of people turn their backs on reason (even science does, preferring empiricism), the consciousness of today will be nothing like the consciousness of 1,000 years from now, when reason at last dominates.

Participation mystique is evident in Islam, Orthodox Judaism, Christian Fundamentalism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Hinduism.

Most people in the modern world are not so modern. They are right wing conservatives with ancient beliefs and ancient psyches. That's why you cannot reason with them.

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Lévy-Bruhl said that "primitive" thinking was indifferent to contradictions. The same is true of the way in which today's right-wingers think. They are not troubled by contradictions. They suffer no cognitive dissonance. Right-wingers are truly primitive. That's why they always look to the past. That's why their thoughts are locked in the Bronze Age.

 

 

 

 


 

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Linking Dreams

So, a beautiful woman tells you that she had the most erotic dream about you. You wonder about your dream self in her dream and you think … wow, I want to experience what he experienced in her dream. It's one thing for you to have a horny dream where you are the subject, but in another person's horny dream about you, you are the object. That gives the experience a totally different quality. Your dream self - in another person's dream - is imbued with what the other person thinks about you, not what you think about yourself. You would have a mind-blowing experience if you, as subject, could link to yourself as object via someone else's dream about you. Imagine having the ability to invade the dreams of others, to insert yourself into the dream of others, to connect to the dreams of others.

 

Worm People

Humans are absurd. Montaigne said, "Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, yet he makes gods by the dozens." Man is certainly mad. He cannot define a thought yet he uses his thoughts to invent God, and gods, and cosmic consciousness, and universal love, and nirvana, and matter, and randomness and uncertainty, and the unknowable, and the mysterious, and so on.

 

 

 

 

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Brain Hemispheres: Attack and Defense

It is said that the right hemisphere is always on the lookout for predators, and the left hemisphere for prey. The right hemisphere is open to possibility (it wants to explore, to perceive), while the left hemisphere wants to close things down in the sense that it wants to arrive at certainty, at a definitive conclusion (it wants to grasp the object, to reach the target). The right perceives, and the left judges.

The right hemisphere tolerates chaos while the left hemisphere always tries to bring order to chaos. The right hemisphere is synthetic and "bottom up" while the left hemisphere is analytic and "top down".

The right hemisphere is an anomaly detector. The left hemisphere attempts to resolve the anomaly. The right hemisphere can accept cognitive dissonance. The left hemisphere cannot.

What is "doublethink"? We might think of it in terms of the right hemisphere believing one thing, and the left hemisphere believing the complete opposite. The left hemisphere is intent on resolving this conflict. The right hemisphere is indifferent to it.

The left hemisphere inhibits the function of the right in order to keep fear under control. The right hemisphere, being alert to predators, is always anxious, fearful and jumpy. The left hemisphere, by complete contrast, is on the side of predation. In itself, it is not fearful at all. In a way, the right hemisphere is scared of its own partner (the left hemisphere), while the left hemisphere wants to prey on the right hemisphere. Most people are right handed, meaning that they are left-hemisphere dominant. It's surprising that everyone is not right handed given that the left hemisphere is conventionally associated with dominant traits and the right with submissive traits. However, the theory of bicameralism asserts that things were once very different and it was the right hemisphere that was once dominant. We might imagine that there were far more left-handed people in the Bicameral Age than there are today.

Under hypnosis, people cede left-hemisphere dominance and allow themselves to be controlled by the hypnotist who serves as the dominant right hemisphere of old.

The left hemisphere loves tools. It loves to reify things, to make them concrete, to remove their abstraction. The right hemisphere doesn't like tools and it de-reifies things. It is happy with abstraction.

The right hemisphere is receptive. The left hemisphere then categorizes what has been received and perceived. The right hemisphere receives and perceives, and the left hemisphere conceives and judges.

The brain is the perfect dialectical system. The left hemisphere is the thesis, the right hemisphere the antithesis. The "person" - the resultant of the left and right hemisphere brain activity - is the synthesis. Most people become too locked in one hemisphere or another, and don't reflect both hemispheres and their complementary properties and traits.

 

 

 

 

 

The Old Mind

The human as a physical body has barely evolved for millennia. However, mentally, humanity is continuously changing (memes, we might say, change much faster than genes). The Medieval Mind was not the modern mind. Mind is affected by culture. Improve the culture and you improve the mind. Degrade the culture and you degrade the mind. The Medieval Mind was hysterical, hallucinatory, and highly suggestible. That's why the medievals believed in witches and demons.

 

 

 

 

jsteeleart.com 

 

The Hottest or Coldest Place?

Dante wondered where to put the angels that supported neither God nor Lucifer when Lucifer tried to overthrow God. These neutral angels were no longer fit for heaven, but nor were they fit for hell. Lucifer certainly didn't want them. Only one place in the universe would accept them - the no-man's land of hell's vestibule, through which the damned must pass to get to hell proper. The vestibule was simply a neutral, dead piece of land between the gate of hell and the river of hell, across which lay hell itself. The neutral angels were trapped for eternity in this neutral ground, rejected by heaven and hell alike. This wasn't the hottest place in hell. In fact, it wasn't really in hell at all. It was the most pathetic and forlorn place in the universe. It was neither one thing nor the other. It was home to no one.

To this ghastly cosmic interzone, Dante dispatched all human souls that never took a side, never stood behind a banner, never embraced a sacred cause. He regarded them as just about the worst souls of all. These were the "Ignavi" - the neutral, the lazy, the apathetic, the opportunistic, those whose only cause was themselves, those that never made any commitment to anything but their own self-interest.

Those people caused a shudder in the medieval mind of Dante. What would he make of today's world, and especially the USA and Europe, where the Ignavi are now more or less the only type of people you ever encounter - people ruthlessly committed to their own greed, selfishness and narcissism ... libertarians, anarchists, relativists, subjectivists, empiricists, nihilists, agnostics, predatory capitalists, and the like. People that despise the State, society, and government, and are only interested in their own needs and wants. People that reject the absolute, objective Truth. People that believe that everyone has their own path and their own truth, and that the only thing to do is to listen to your own propaganda, your own opinions and beliefs, your own interpretations, your own experiences. By doing that, you will become "enlightened", they say.

This was exactly the position adopted by the neutral angels. They didn't look to God or Lucifer or any cause greater than themselves. They decided that they themselves were the truth, and that they should never look beyond themselves. That has now become the default position of the human race, and it has ensured the irresistible rise of Mediocre Man, the most pathetic, self-serving type of person who worships himself but has absolutely nothing to give the world other than crushing averageness, pettiness and triviality. He is the perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. Nietzsche called these self-servatives "Last Men", and he regarded them as the abject final product of the human race, the total opposite of his beloved Supermen.

We have now entered the Age of the Last Men. Social media is their medium for spreading their tedious garbage everywhere, destroying everything of quality, merit and excellence, drowning everything in a beige, soulless blanket of muzak and middling pointlessness. The medium is the message and the medium is that which empowers the irretrievably mediocre and gives them an unstoppable, irresistible voice - shout - that drowns out everyone else. You can't hear those with something meaningful to say because of the meaningless noise and static of the mediocre posting their selfies and their inane comments about their selfies.

Humanity is now at a crossroads. The endgame is being played out. It's time to step up. It's time to choose a side. If you want to avoid hell's vestibule, you must rally behind a banner and give it your all, give it your heart and soul.

As Nietzsche said, "Whoever, at any time, has undertaken to build a new heaven has found the strength for it in his own hell."

 

 

 

   

The Fire Sermon

Join the Castalian Revolution. Burn down heaven. Set fire to faith, mysticism and empiricism. It's time for the Coming Race, the HyperHumans of Reason.

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"Few things in this world are more predictable than the reaction of conventional minds to unconventional ideas." - John Anthony West

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Those that aspire to quality and excellence are under constant attack. They are facing an extinction level event. The mediocre will dominate everything and crush all excellence if the people of quality do not fight back.

Well, what are you going to do? Which side of the wall are you on? Are you a Descender or a Transcender? The only way is up.