Changing How we think for the sake of all
The Objective Information Process & Virtual Subjective Experiences Hypothesis: A bottom up reformulation of the virtual reality hypothesis and the philosophical foundations of science without the distortions of naïve realism and all the problems and paradoxes that it entails.
Note: What the topic is and what its implications are becomes clearer as the conversation unfolds. If you jump to conclusions about where this conversation is headed you will probably be mistaken. Enjoy the ride :)
We should first clarify our understanding of exactly what it is that we are here to discuss.
The initial question is: What does "a change in How we think" really mean?
A common answer is: "It is seeing ourselves and the world from an ever broadening perspective." (GMS promo)
In what way is our perspective not broad enough? The occurrence of problems indicates that our way of thinking is obsolete, but what is it about our thinking that is causing the problems?
There are many problems, such as resource depletion, pollution, conflict, disparity between rich and poor. Global warming and weapons of mass destruction are just bigger versions of pollution and conflict. Two common factors are that "they are all global and they are all interconnected" (GMS promo).
The common answer "states what it means is we must broaden our perspective from thinking locally to thinking globally. That is not what I would consider any real change in how we think. I believe most of the world today already thinks in global terms." (Chuck)
So what is it in our thinking that is actually causing the problems?
There is an important fact that is often overlooked. It is that the problems have been occurring throughout the history of civilisation, thus they are intrinsic to the very nature of human civilisation as it has existed for thousands of years. The only difference now is that the problems have become global in scope and potentially catastrophic, thus we cannot continue to ignore them.
Thinking and acting more globally has expanded the problems to a global scale. They have not gone away but have increased. We can no longer ignore the problems because they have gradually built up, over thousands of years, into a global systemic crisis that potentially threatens all life on the planet.
The observation that the problems are all interconnected is correct. They have a common root but what is that root? What is it in our thinking that has been causing these problems for thousands of years and how can we change our thinking in order to cut to the root of the problems and thereby create an entirely new civilisation that is not inherently self-destructive?
When faced with a systemic crisis it is futile to simply focus on the symptoms because there is an underlying dis-ease that is at the root of them all. This dis-ease operates within our minds and has done so for thousands of years passed on from generation to generation. Only now, it is likely to become fatal. Most approaches that are being taken today may help minimise the symptoms but are unable to resolve the fundamental crisis in civilisation. One cannot cure a disease by treating only the symptoms. Only a profound and far reaching global mind-shift that changes the very nature of civilisation can resolve the crisis.
But what is it in our way of thinking that needs to change?
Returning to the initial question and the common answer:
What does "a change in How we think" really mean?
It is seeing ourselves and the world from an ever broadening perspective.
So what does this really mean? What is the broader perspective from which the dysfunctional ways of thinking can be overcome?
"[T]o solve our problems we must first change our culture, but to change our culture we must first change what we believe our purpose and meaning is. But to change what we believe the purpose and meaning is, we must descend all the way down the pyramid to reevaluate or rediscover what we believe Reality really is. It is our fundamental perceptions of Reality that determines not only what we think and how we think, but changes the very core of our consciousness... " (Chuck)
So "seeing ourselves and the world from an ever broadening perspective" doesn't mean that we stay bound within a naive realist paradigm, never questioning the false assumptions upon which our concepts of ourselves and the world are founded, and only think more globally than locally. It means that we face up to our deepest unquestioned assumptions and cognitive habits, then re-evaluate things from an entirely new perspective. One that is able to grasp the deeper reality of ourselves and the world. Thus the broader perspective isn't "the planet", it is 'reality'.
If we don't rectify the false assumptions and cognitive habits, which result in our dysfunctional concepts of ourselves and the world then shifting to a global scale only unleashes our destructive delusions on a global scale, which is exactly what is happening. The delusions themselves need to be overcome and to do that we need to identify the dysfunctional thought processes that create and sustain the delusions and then change those thought processes.
So this conversation is not really about answering the question: "What does "a change in How we think" really mean?", that is just a starting point. The conversation is actually about overcoming our most fundamental delusions and connecting with reality at the most fundamental and far reaching level. In other words, we are discussing the biggest of all epistemological paradigm shifts (overcoming naive realism). In still other words, we are discussing paths to self-realisation (enlightenment).
We are here to discuss: What does it mean to overcome delusion and connect with reality (whatever it may be), and how do we go about doing that? What changes are required in the way we think and how do we go about changing?
We "need to be fresh...new...innocent.... aware...open....then, perhaps, [we] stand some chance of communicating with them on their own wavelength. [We] need to un-learn. Before [we] can attempt to teach. Can we unlearn, find the essence, start learning again? Can we all, in harmony, descend to the basement?" (Pawel )
This is where we need to go, however we need to realise that 'un-learning' is not simply dropping everything (otherwise we would have no means by which to communicate) but is instead critically enquiring into what we believe we know in order to identify those things that we need to drop and identify those things that we need to focus on. Naïve realism is the main thing to be dropped and we need to seriously consider what this entails and what remains once this is done. This might be a good path towards 'un-learning'.
Helping the helpers
The second theme of this discussion relates to the many workers of Light in the world, those working with the intention of assisting humanity to pass safely through the coming transition times. We are also here to discuss how to help those who are seeking to help and how we ourselves may be of greatest help to all.
There are subtle assumptions and dysfunctional thought processes that if not recognised and overcome would ensure that any endeavour was a futile and potentially destructive exercise.
The important thing is that we can identify the limitations and that others are able to recognise them - then we all have a chance of succeeding in our worthy goal of helping to resolve the global systemic crisis that threatens us all and participate positively and creatively in the great changes that are coming.
We are mostly naïve "realist, but [we] are unaware that [we] are, and it is not a philosophy [we] are consciously trying to promote" (Chuck). Naive realists are unaware that they are propounding a false and dis-proven philosophical (epistemological) paradigm. As far as the naive realist is concerned they are simply dealing with the world "as it is" and they never think beyond that. Hence naive realism is not a way of thinking but an absence of thinking that is filled in by assumptions and denial. This is why naive realism is so difficult to even recognise as a problem, let alone overcome.
We must overcome naïve realism to a significant degree if we are going to be able to participate effectively.
First we discuss what naïve realism is and the ramifications of its overcoming. Then we discuss how this understanding can help all workers of the Light to actualise the truth that they are and flow freely with the stream of events. May we be always in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.
The central premise of this conversation is that many workers of the Light "are just ignorant of the potency of the words they are using but well intentioned" (Carolyn). If so then hopefully their minds are open to overcoming any ignorance that may derail their well intentioned endeavour.
It does not follow that one should unquestioningly support what is currently being done because the approach, although well intentioned may be limited by ignorance.
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
"Ignorance is the root of all evil."
If we can identify the fundamental misconceptions underlying an approach to participating in the global transition and help others recognise these then they will not just be well intentioned but also aware.
I have great respect for all workers of the Light - it is an admirable endeavour that we are all embarked upon. However we are facing a VAST challenge, one that has plagued humanity for thousands of years. The greatest minds and souls have attempted this endeavour and met with only limited success. This is no ordinary challenge and ordinary awareness is inadequate to face up to it. Most of them are deeply aware, but only in terms of ordinary awareness. They have yet to realise the depth of extraordinary awareness that is possible and which they will need if they are to succeed.
The only intention for pointing out their ignorance is not to deride them but to help them - for all our sakes. The potentially catastrophic consequences of the global systemic crisis force us to deal with issues that go well beyond ordinary conceptions of ourselves and the world in which it seems we find ourselves.
"Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance." (Will Durant)
"True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance." (Henry David Thoreau)
It is time to wake up
Fear is an emotional response whilst recognising the facts of the matter (whatever they may be) has nothing to do with emotional responses, which would only distort our awareness of the situation. Do not think, speak and act out of fear but out of dispassionate rational / intuitive awareness.
The fact that humanity is potentially facing a global systemic crisis should not engender fear, neither should you consider denying the potential danger that we face to be an act of love; instead it is an act of fear. Act out of love by understanding this clearly and helping others to understand the situation so that we may all make the most of the possibilities.
The situation is forcing us to overcome our ordinary conceptions of things and this is an overwhelmingly positive force. It is the way that the universe is saying "It is time to wake up!"...
"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly." (Richard Bach)
Fear and Intuition
In the stillness of my soul,
There is a great deal of advice "for the task at hand, namely, liberating all sentient beings from suffering (confusion, delusion)." (Glisten) Yet it is futile to address "things from a strictly naive realist perspective." If we cannot yet "see ourselves and the world from an ever broadening perspective." then we are in no position to be nurturing the collective vision. Although we may be well intentioned and well informed within a naive realist paradigm we are still immature and in need of further growth. We must work to overcome our limitations and rise to a higher plane of awareness.
I spent yesterday in communication with Universal Consciousness via the I Ching and in contemplation of its message. The central question was a request for wise counsel to assist all workers of the Light through this current phase of the journey. In brief the message received can be summarised as:
Workers of the light, you are collectively like a foetus in a womb, bearing a gift from the spirit. The many obstacles serve as protection whilst you nurture your inner energy. Eliminate outmoded ideas and ways of thinking through mutual effort and support. Prepare yourselves to undertake a great paradigm shift. Overcome fear and denial, liberate your confined energies and connect with what is real. Through this transition you will collectively emerge into the full light of day and be honoured at the centre of power, thus initiating a time of abundant, creative growth. Through self-knowledge and inner awareness establish an enduring connection with reality in your innermost selves. Through this you can participate harmoniously in the unfolding stream of events. Love and Spirit return as an entirely new space of possibility and field of activity opens up and awareness expands into a joyous new state of existence.
For the full response see Wisdom for this Phase of the Journey . It relates detailed and relevant advice from Universal Consciousness to guide us through these times.
Doing and Being
It is both true that there is work to be done and that we are a part of an unfolding process that has its own dynamic. I sometimes think of it through a surfing metaphor of "riding a wave of change across the bay to the other side - were we ourselves are the breaking wavefront of creative existence."
Regarding actively riding the wave, perhaps something can be
learnt from a previous attempt to nurture a self-organised
collective phenomenon: STAR
Perceptual Illusions and Naïve Realism
Naïve realism is the habit of assuming that one is experiencing reality “as it is” and not just how the mind presents it. Thus assumption is easy to falsify for yourself.
Naïve realism is the most deeply entrenched cognitive habit of all. So deep that 99.9% of people spend 99.9% of their time operating through it.
For example, if you experience yourself as an individual being in a world, with a body and a mind, surrounded by objects and events in space and time then you are naive realist. I don't think there is anyone here in this forum who is not predominantly naive realist.
Those who have totally overcome naive realism and do not "bounce back into naïve realism" are enlightened beings such as Buddha.
David Hume was the Western philosopher who first realised the existence of naive realism and who made it a vital part of his life's work to prove it false and overcome it. He admitted that he wasn't able to go for more than five minutes without slipping back into naive realism. It is a serious challenge and can take decades of intense focus and inner work to significantly reduce the habit.
We are not here to propose a way of totally overcoming naive realism, but simply to shed light on it and to find ways of reducing the worst of its negative effects so that we and others can integrate more effectively to overcome the looming global crisis.
Signs of an Emerging Paradigm-Shift
An exciting development in modern times is that quantum physics has categorically and undeniably proven that naive realism is a fundamentally false way of thinking. Furthermore, the world-view arising from quantum physics is fundamentally non-naive realist. This is why it has such close parallels with the highest mystic teachings and also why naive realists have found it impossible to understand. This scientific proof of the fallacy of naive realism and the scientific development of a non-naive realist world-view will have profound impact on all levels of civilisation over time:
"There is a major "dangerous" scientific idea in contemporary physics, with a potential impact comparable to Copernicus or Darwin [or Buddha]. It is the idea that what the physics of the 20th century says about the world might in fact be true." (Carlo Rovelli )
Naïve realism has also been falsified philosophically and scientifically by quantum physics. But how does one tackle the persistent cognitive habit that is naïve realism?
"[W]e must descend all the way down the pyramid to re-evaluate or rediscover what we believe our Reality really is. But how do we do that? Right now we are stuck in the Reality we already have." (Chuck)
If we put aside all conjecture for a moment about objects, events, people, places and things what do we have left to work with?
All I can be certain of is that "I am" but I cannot even be sure of who or what this 'I' is. Hence all that is certain is the 'am-ness' of myself. This is known due to the fact that experience happens thus there is an experiential process which is apodictic (self-evidently real).
Everything else is known via the contents of that experiential process and countless interpretations of that content based on various paradigms or systems of belief. With a shift in paradigm the interpretations can change and the resulting experiences and conclusions can change.
"The reception of a new paradigm often necessitates a redefinition of the corresponding science. Some old problems may be relegated to another science or declared entirely "unscientific". Others that were previously non-existent or trivial may, with a new paradigm, become the very archetypes of significant scientific achievement. And as the problems change, so, often, does the standard that distinguishes a real scientific solution from a mere metaphysical speculation, word game, or mathematical play." (T.S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
It is only within certain paradigms that it is believed that there exist objects, events, people, places and things. However in other paradigms these are just mythological entities by which consciousness organises the content of its experiences.
Thus epistemology (how is it that we know what we know) is at the heart of these issues:
"If there is anything to be learned from the long history of the epistemological debate, it is that the issue is by no means simple or trivial, and that whatever is ultimately determined to be the truth of epistemology, we can be sure that it will do considerable violence to our common-sense view of things. This however is nothing new in science, for many of the greatest discoveries of science seemed initially to be so incredible that it took decades or even centuries before they were generally accepted." (S. Lehar, Naive Realism in Contemporary Philosophy , The Function of Conscious Experience)
It is due to deeply engrained cognitive habits such as naive realism that we unthinkingly ascribe fundamental reality to the apparent objects of perception. However naive realism has been categorically proven to be false by quantum mechanics. Thus it is accepted by quantum physicists that:
"We have no satisfactory reason for ascribing objective existence to physical quantities as distinguished from the numbers obtained when we make the measurements which we correlate with them. There is no real reason for supposing that a particle has at every moment a definite, but unknown, position which may be revealed by a measurement of the right kind, or a definite momentum which can be revealed by a different measurement. On the contrary, we get into a maze of contradiction as soon as we inject into quantum mechanics such concepts as carried over from the language and philosophy of our ancestors. . . It would be more exact if we spoke of "making measurements" of this, that, or the other type instead of saying that we measure this, that, or the other "physical quantity"." (E. C. Kemble, The Fundamental Principles of Quantum Mechanics)
" "[W]e have to give up the idea of [naive] realism to a far greater extent than most physicists believe today." (Anton Zeilinger). . . By realism, he means the idea that objects have specific features and properties - that a ball is red, that a book contains the works of Shakespeare, or that an electron has a particular spin... it may make no sense to think of them as having well defined characteristics." (P. Ball, Physicists bid farewell to reality?, originally published by Nature but recently deleted! Excerpts can be read at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1820354/posts)
See more information in the article: Signs of an Emerging Paradigm Shift. Written for Explorer, the newsletter of the Society for Scientific Exploration.
What kind of a 'reality' can we conceive of without naive realism? If we kick that cognitive habit and radically change the way we think and interpret our experiences, what happens then?
Some relevant questions to be asked are:
Who or what am I? Are there other's like me or are there just many perspectives of which I am one?
What is this persistent world-experience?
What is real? Is there an objective context beyond our world-experiences? If so what is the nature of that context?
What is possible?
Contemplate these questions and thereby dig deeper into a non-naive realist understanding.
Those questions should be
What is this experiential process that has come to think of itself as 'I'? Is there really an 'I' amongst separate I's or does this only seem to be the case within the context of certain paradigms?
“If the Universe began with Nothing-ness, then Nothing-ness is all we can ever have. We cannot get Something from Nothing. The empty set is completely satisfied and beyond entropy. Nothing cannot evolve into something. Quantum science tells us there is no-thing-ness at the heart of any-thing; the Universe is 'made' of no-thing. The Universe is "real" only because the mind perceives information as real.” (Chuck)
For details on the quantum mechanical proof that naive realism is a flawed way of thinking, see:
System Science of Virtual Reality: Toward the Unification of Empirical and Subjective Science
See the section on "complementarity" for a discussion and the section on "quantum measurement" for the mathematics.
Or lookup information about Young's double slit experiment, Stern-Gerlach experiment, complementarity, quantum measurement, wave / particle duality and Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
It is quite abstract but so is reality. Only naive realism accords with common sense, hence naive realism is also called common sense realism.
The issue that we are here to discuss has plagued humanity for thousands of years. We are not the first to realise the problematic nature of the issue; the wise have attempted to tackle the problem again and again for thousands of years.
To those whose minds are dominated by delusional thought processes, such as naive realism, which leads to the belief that "I am a person in a world, with a mind and a body", this is THE MOST DIFFICULT issue to face up to. Thus humanity as a whole has remained in denial. If these denial tactics persist then this four billion year planetary experiment will have been a failure.
If we wish to have any hope of making meaningful progress on this subject we will need to take it very seriously. If we approach this issue from the perspective of being a 'person', thereby bringing all of our personality baggage into the conversational space, this exercise will be utterly futile.
"Will any of us give up our cherished beliefs if we find that the Reality they were based on was nothing more than an illusion? " (Chuck). This is more than just rhetoric, we must each sincerely ask ourselves if we are willing and able to do so.
Here is some background reading related to this issue.
the Root (STAR): Clarifying our minds for the greater
Red Pill: Systems Analysis of Mind, Knowledge, 'the World'
and Holistic Science
Gaian-Ego Hypothesis: A Systems Analysis of Organisation,
Ego, Control and Authoritarianism
Science of Virtual Reality: Toward the Unification of
Empirical and Subjective Science
We need to do more than just focus on changing the content of our thoughts; we also need to focus on changing our thinking processes. The two are intimately connected in a feedback loop.
The mind is a feedback loop in the sense that it is both the perceiver and the lens through which things are perceived. Hence what we believe (content) influences how we perceive (process). Also, how we perceive (process) determines the type of world-experience that we have, which then conditions what we believe (content).
Thus a clear lens leads to clear perception, which clarifies the lens. Whilst a distorted lens leads to distorted perception, which distorts the lens.
We really need to focus on both content and process, but with greater attention to the process because whilst ever our cognitive processes are distorted and distorting, even if we managed to get the content straightened out, the distorting process would tend to mess it all up again and we would spiral into delusion. Whereas if we got the process straightened out then that would tend to clarify the lens and we would spiral into sanity.
In some traditions the distinction between feeling and thinking is commonly accepted but in other traditions (such as Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism) it is accepted that mind is the entire inner process, which incorporates both feeling and thinking. Mind is a complex process that includes perception, intuition, feeling, experience, awareness, memory, intellect, language and so on. Hence mind can be interpreted as either feeling or thinking, or both, but is not intrinsically related to either.
What I mean by 'perception' is the faculty whereby a system receives input information and transforms that into an internal representation. Both left and right hemispheres participate in this, so too does the entire nervous system and sensory apparatus.
By the term 'experience' I mean the felt quality of internal representations. Rather than just receive and process information we actually feel it. For example, the felt quality of red-ness as opposed to just the perception of a certain wavelength of light.
The experiences that we have of 'external' phenomena are a product of perceptions that have been heavily filtered, interpreted and manufactured by the mind, thereby resulting in a cognitive state of "being externally appeared to". The experiences that we have of 'internal' phenomena such as emotions are a product of cognitive states that are heavily filtered, interpreted and manufactured by the mind, thereby resulting in a cognitive state of "being internally appeared to". The intellectual thoughts (ideas) that we have are cognitive states that symbolically represent cognitive states.
All of this occurs within the mind and the nature of the cognitive processes affects them all. Neither is more or less reliable than any other. Many people assume that feelings are more genuine and reliable than thoughts, however an example disproves this. A person can be hypnotised and handed an onion, along with the suggestion that it is a delicious apple. They will then eat it and fully experience it as a delicious apple. Their experience of taste, emotions of liking the experience and their thoughts about what they are doing, experiencing and emoting will all be influenced by the hypnotic suggestion.
Everything that we experience, feel, think, know (every cognitive state) is a product of our cognitive processes and none of them give direct access to reality. Thus a change in our cognitive processes can change every aspect of the world that we perceive, experience, emote about, think about and so on.
Central to the question of "what does 'changing how we
think really mean?'" is the issue of "what are we?".
Who or what is the assumed individual that does the thinking and
wishes to change how it thinks? Minds generally have very deeply
engrained assumptions about who or what they are (the 'person')
and it is typical for them to become defensive when challenged to
question these assumptions. However, if we wish to really
understand "what does 'changing how we think really
mean?'" we need to question them.
The organismic analogy will, I think, become a profoundly transformative analogy in times to come as we realise that the universe is not a stage designed for 'people' to act out their dramas. It is instead a complex evolving system within which we ourselves are civilisations of individual cells whilst at the same time we are cells within an evolving collective organism that will someday come to experience itself as an individual entity.
From the Cambrian explosion it has taken organisms 550 million years to evolve from single cells to what they are now. The growth of civilisation is like a second Cambrian in which we are the single cells and organisations are the new organisms.
If a cell can experience itself as an individual and so too can an organism and even a civilisation, then what does that mean for our concepts of 'I', 'me' and 'mine'?
Does it make sense for one hand to fight the other? Or for the heart to hoard all the blood instead of pump it around? What would things be like if civilisation was a healthy collective organism?
If we are like cells in a collective organism and our beliefs are like the DNA within our cells (they transform incoming signals into a cascade of internal state changes which results in some behaviour) then a mind-shift is like a genetic mutation.
If enough of us change the way we think the 'species' of the collective organism changes. Is this what a global mind-shift is about? Is a "global mind-shift" what it feels like to be participating in the evolution of an organism from a cell's perspective?
An Evolving Collective Organism
What is it that we are doing here?
Might it be like horizontal gene transfer ?
Perhaps we are like bacteria (individual cells) communicating and sharing memes (cognitive viruses) which can potentially shift our minds (genetic mutation) in order to better integrate with each other (forming a collective organism)?
If we stop thinking of ourselves only as 'people', and drop all the baggage that is associated with that way of thinking, then it becomes apparent that something very profound may be going on here and in conversations like this one. Perhaps a new species of organisation is forming on the face of the planet and things will radically change in the near future.
Response to Three Videos
The experience related by Jill of right-brained awareness is an excellent description of mystic awareness. Some excerpts are extracted below:
"I am an energy being connected to the energy all around me... I'm realising that my hands look like primitive claws grasping... and I looked down at my body and I thought I'm a weird looking thing and it was as though my consciousness had shifted away from my normal perception of reality where I'm the person... having the experience, to some esoteric space where I'm witnessing myself having this experience... I looked down at my arm and I realised that I can no longer define the boundaries of my body, I can't define where I begin and where I end... all I could detect was this energy... At first I was shocked to find myself inside of a silent mind but then I was immediately captivated by the energy around me, and because I could no longer identify the boundaries of my body I felt enormous and expansive. I felt at one with all the energy that was and it was beautiful there. It was beautiful there, imagine what it would be like to be totally disconnected from the brain chatter... I felt lighter... imagine that any relationships in the external world and any stressors related to those, they were gone. I felt this sense of peacefulness. Imagine what it would be like to lose... years of emotional baggage, I felt euphoria, Euphoria, it was beautiful... I just felt my energy lift and just felt my spirit surrender and in that moment I knew that I was no longer the choreographer of my life... perhaps this was my moment of transition... my mind was now suspended between two very opposite planes of reality... my spirit soared free like a great whale gliding through a sea of silent euphoria, nirvana, I found nirvana... if I have found nirvana and I am still alive then everyone who is alive can find nirvana. And I pictured a world filled with beautiful, peaceful, compassionate loving people who knew that they could come to this space at any time and they could purposefully choose to... find this peace. Then I realised, what a tremendous gift this could be, what a stroke of insight it could be to how we live our lives. Who are we, we are the lifeforce power of the universe... we have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world. Right here, right now I can step into the consciousness... where we are, I am, the lifeforce power of the universe. I am the lifeforce power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form at one with all that is - or I can choose to step into the consciousness... where I become a single individual, a solid, separate from the flow, separate from you. I am Dr Jill Bolte Taylor... These are the we inside of me. Which would you choose? Which do you choose? And when? I believe that the more time that we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry... the more peace we will project into the world and the more peaceful our planet will be and I thought that was an idea worth spreading."
In answer to her question: "How many brain scientists have the opportunity to study their own brain from the inside out?" They all do but they tend to avoid the opportunity unless it is forced upon them. Whilst trapped in a naïve realist paradigm and dominated by a personality they are deathly afraid of self-enquiry or even meditation and they have all kinds of rationalisations to cover up their fear. However there are rigorous scientific methods developed, tested and refined over thousands of years that assist one "to study their own brain from the inside out". She might be a scientist in one field but she is ignorant of the field about which she is talking. Her accidental insight has given her a glimpse but she has a lot to learn before she can understand what that glimpse really means.
Regarding left and right hemispheres and gaining access to both, a simple (elementary) exercise that can be done is to set up two mirrors so that they form a right angle with a vertical line joining them. Then stand centrally and stare into the vertex. You will see your reflection differently depending on which hemisphere is currently dominating the visual processing. If you observe this you will see that it spontaneously changes from one to the other. If you keep practising you will eventually be able to shift from one to the other by an act of will. This is only an elementary exercise and doesn't lead to the full ability to shift ones whole mind, but it is a good start.
Dennet: "It's ideas... that hijack our brains. Now am I saying that a sizeable minority of the worlds population have had their brains hijacked by parasitic ideas? No it's worse than that, most people have... Hosts work hard to spread these ideas to others... "
No ideas are true, it is just that some ideas are creative and some are destructive. Ideas are the programming that condition the mind to think and act in particular ways. To remain a puppet of ideas is to remain blind to reality, but by clearing the mind and connecting to reality ideas can then be used as useful tools.
"The subordination of genetic interest to other interests... is a profound biological defect. No other species does anything like this. "
Within the limited context of Dennett's biological awareness he is correct. However within a broader biological awareness he is incorrect.
His limitation is that he is only considering the refinement phase covering the last 550 million years since the Cambrian explosion. He does not take into consideration the transition phase that was the Cambrian explosion. During the refinement phase individual organisms are gradually being refined and the principles of Darwinian evolution are reasonably accurate. However during a transition phase, such as single cells to multicellular organisms, or individual humans to a collective organism the processes are radically different.
When he says that "No other species does anything like this" he is correct that no other multicellular organism does anything like this. This is because it is humans that are driving the current transition phase. In the Cambrian explosion it was the eucaryotes who drove the process; they evolved more complex communication capacities and formed into organisations that became organisms. They sacrificed self-interest and became driven by collective interests. All multicellular organisms are civilisations of eucaryotes.
As I said earlier regarding the organismic analogy, "we are like cells in a collective organism and our beliefs are like the DNA within our cells (they transform incoming signals into a cascade of internal state changes which results in some behaviour)". Horizontal gene transfer is mediated by viruses and is the mechanism by which individual cells influence each other by changing each others DNA. Likewise horizontal belief transfer (communication) is mediated by memes (cognitive viruses) and is the means by which individual minds influence each other by changing the structure of their beliefs. This is the primary mechanism of evolution during a transition phase. It is only during the refinement phase that vertical transfer via reproduction dominates.
"The subordination of genetic interest to other interests" is not "a profound biological defect". It is the central driving force of the transition phase. During the transition from a collection of individuals to an individual collective the interests of the individuals are subordinated to the interests of the collective. The fact that this has often lead to problems is not a sign that the process itself is inherently a problem, what it indicates is one of two things, either the collective organism is unhealthy (internal tensions) or there are multiple arising collective organisms that are in conflict (mutual tensions). In general both are factors because as the super-systems form there are no clear system boundaries so it is neither one nor many but a complex mixture of both.
Transition phases are difficult times, characterised by unbalanced forces and the destruction of whole ecosystems. It is only during the refinement phase that a comfortable equilibrium is reached. But then the next transition phase comes... Nature doesn't seek to create a comfortable niche for a particular species, it keeps innovating.
In regards to memes in general, beware of what meme streams you are exposed to – they are contagious! I have avoided all forms of mass media since 2001, it took several years for my mind to wake up from the trance but the clarity that can be obtained in the absence of brain-washing is phenomenal :)
It claims to be about "What if the world embodied its highest potential? What would it look like?" but it would be more accurate to call it A naïve realist view of the current situation.
In general I can empathise with the sentiments that were expressed, in particular the need to preserve diversity whilst also finding unity, however the video to me is an excellent example of the type of well intentioned yet dangerous naïve realist propaganda that we are here to help people overcome. It is not suggesting any great transformation but just a slight modification of the old ways so that the tyranny of our delusions can become established on a global scale. It insinuates that a spiritual revolution is unrealistic and what we need is materialist nationalism on a global scale. It fails to distinguish between the evolution of a collective organism and the formation of a collective ego, because they have yet to take a good look at themselves in order to distinguish their own ego from the organism. If people blindly follow this kind of path we will eventually end up with global hegemony based on the theme of Oneness. The founder of the GlobalOneness project was also the founder of GMS and the same criticisms of GMS apply to it.
Below are some comments, which if taken out of the naïve realist context and re-interpreted take on a deeper meaning:
If this next comment was about consciousness rather than behaviour it would be more relevant: "We are faced with a challenge. Can we as a global tribe get our act together fast enough to be able to change our collective behaviour fast enough."
The next comment is about cultural identity, however if it was about personal identity it would be more relevant: "It is a big challenge because it is very protective to remain in the narrative, it is very safe not to challenge the cover around you... The challenge is when we talk of standing on a groundless ground of nothing in the future and knowing that the future is void and empty... the power of what we are talking about is the ability and the desire to create transformation and transformation has to take place from one setting into another setting and that setting is that core identity that people are born in and this is their reality... the challenge is being able to distinguish your identity and what makes your identity from the interpretations"
The video implies that the next comment is about government / military industrial complexes however it would be more relevant if it was about naïve realism, common sense and the old-paradigm world-view."...we just have to sit with the truth of it, we have to let go of the story... we have systems and structures that create and engender further and further and deeper and deeper separation and give it some kind of a platform for being reasonable rather than engendering and supporting deeper and deeper mutuality and oneness. So until those systems and structures are also undermined and pulled apart then we will only see change, small shifts of change and not transformation. Until the systems and structures themselves are no longer able to support those social sensibilities that are damaging to humanity we will not be transformed as a society. And those systems and structures were created and are supported by individuals so its a cycle that loops back on itself."
This next comment is about consumerism but if it was about delusion, illusion and denial of all kinds it would be more relevant "Lets stop a moment and look at our lives from a broader perspective. Then we will realise that there are more important things in life..."
The next comment is about small changes within the naïve realist paradigm but if it was about shifting out of the naïve realist paradigm it would be more relevant. "What if this reality could change, what would it look like?"
They are using nice sounding words (without realising what they are saying) in order to push towards an old and worn out idea that is dressed in new propaganda. They are striving to come up with a radical change but they lack the awareness and imagination to do so.
The general definition is: "Solipsism is the philosophical idea that "My mind is the only thing that I know exists." Solipsism is an epistemological or ontological position that knowledge of anything outside the mind is unjustified. The external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist." (Wikipedia)
To me solipsism means someone who is half-way there in terms of seeing themselves and their world from a broader perspective because they have seen their world from a broader perspective but not yet themselves. They have overcome naive realism in regards to their experience of an external world and realised that the objects of perception are just that and not external objects with fundamentally existent self-nature. However they have yet to overcome naïve realism in regards to their experience of themselves and still think that they are an individual entity with a fundamentally existent self-nature.
Clarifying the terms 'Reality' and 'World-experience'
I see some differences in the uses of words that may be causing some confusion between Chuck and Glisten.
I agree with Chuck that “there is no-thing real, it is all illusion.” Because every 'thing' is just an object of perception; the contents of consciousness. But Chuck also seems to assume that “there is nothing real, it is all illusion.” which is what Glisten and I disagree with.
I think this comes from mixing the concepts of 'Reality' and 'world-experience' such as in the comment that “Even those who know their Reality is only an illusion sometimes still fall prey into believing their illusions are real.”(Chuck). It is common for naïve realists to assume that their world-experience is Reality but I think here we need to get beyond that. A world-experience is an illusion but underneath this illusion there is a Reality that is not a world-experience but that by which all world-experiences manifest. Anything that can be perceived is not real, it is just a part of the world-experience, however the experiential process is Real, otherwise the world-experience could not arise.
This mixing of concepts leads to statements such as “The only Reality is the Reality in our own minds.” (Chuck) which I disagree with. It is true that “the only world-experience is the world-experience in our own minds” but it is also true that the only Reality is that which is, which cannot be experienced but is the experiencer of all experiences.
Pawel said: "If there are illusions, there must be "reality" of illusions environment (to "feed" them) and illusions carrier (hardware)."
Well said. I describe this in terms of:
Not something to be left behind
I see that the confusion of terms is persisting. If this confusion about the most key term continues it would be very destructive to our efforts here.
Please let me clarify to the group what I understand the two positions to be.
When Glisten, Pawel and myself say 'reality' we mean "that which is real", which has nothing to do with our perceptions, experiences or thoughts about it because all of these are just part of our personal world-experiences. The term 'reality' does not refer to some particular idea about reality - it refers to that which is real, which is left undefined because it is undefinable (any definition would be an idea about reality and not reality itself).
When Chuck says 'reality' he means our personal world-experiences and particular ideas about reality, which are just the content of consciousness and not that which is real.
Questions to Chuck: Do you think it is possible for minds to have world-experiences and ideas about reality if there was nothing that was actually real? If you accept that there is something that is real (which has nothing to do with our experiences and ideas) then what term do you use to refer to that which is real?
If we are to work on a realistic memeplex then we need to be very clear when talking about reality.
Naïve Realist 'reality'
In my questions I didn't ask about no-thing (the absence of objects, which are the contents of consciousness falsely interpreted as real entities) I asked about nothing (absolutely no existence of any kind whatsoever). There is no doubt here that "There is no-thing 'real'". We all agree that 'things' are just naïve realist interpretations of the content of consciousness. That is not the issue.
I accept that you are being as clear as you can be (at present) - but a greater level of clarity is required if we are to be effective in this conversation. I understand your reply to my questions however your reply seems to indicate that you have not understood the questions. However later you do answer them by saying "The Singularity of Consciousness and the thoughts contained in consciousness are all there is. All else are ideas and illusions. We could say the only thing 'real' is consciousness".
So in answer to my first question:
Do you think it is possible for minds to have world-experiences and ideas about reality if there was nothing (NOT no-thing) that was actually real? I.e. if there were no consciousness, no contents of consciousness and no existence of any kind whatsoever (nothing real), could a non-existent consciousness falsely interpret the non-existent contents of consciousness and thereby have a world-experience?
Although you answered yes, your actual answer is no.
In regards to the second question:
If you accept that there is something (NOT some-thing) that is real (which has nothing to do with our experiences and ideas) then what term do you use to refer to that which is real?
Although you answered "There is no-thing 'real'", your actual answer is "The Singularity of Consciousness and the thoughts contained in consciousness are all there is... We could say the only thing 'real' is consciousness".
Thank you, I see we are on the same wavelength except that your usage of words is very confusing and inherently naïve realist.
The cause of the confusion becomes apparent when you say "the term 'real' carries a lot of Realism baggage with it". Perhaps it does in your mind but the term 'real' does not inherently carry that baggage. It refers to that which actually exists, whatever it may be, regardless of our experiences of it and thoughts about it.
The dictionary meaning of 'real' is "existing or happening as or in fact; actual, true, etc.; not merely seeming, pretended, imagined, fictitious, nominal, or ostensible" (http://www.yourdictionary.com/real)
Your confusion arises because, for a brief period of time in a small sector of society there arose a group of naïve realists who formulated a philosophy based on their confused belief that their world experience was all that existed and they abused the term 'real' by calling their movement realismTM and themselves realistsTM. That is just a minor historical confusion that seems to had a significant impact on your mind. However if every time someone abused a term we had to abandon it we would have virtually no words left at all.
I see that we are finally getting to the bottom of the confusion in this conversation regarding 'reality'. Are you prepared to, in this conversation at least, stop using an outmoded naïve realist interpretation and accept the general meaning of the term? Once you stop ontologically committing yourself to naïve realism you will find that your understanding of non- naïve realism will improve and you will no longer be subtly inducing the group to engage in naïve realist fantasy about Reality.
Facts of the Matter
Chuck said: "You have redefined real, Realism, and Reality in your own mind and now want the rest of the world to adopt your definitions. All that's doing right now is leading to a great deal of confusion."
You're making wildly inaccurate accusations. Let's stay rational and look at the facts of the matter.
In the table below the orange and green cells mark the region where my meanings correspond to commonly accepted meanings. The green cells mark the region where your meanings correspond to commonly accepted meanings.
It is clear that it is you and others similarly confused who are attempting to redefine the terms 'real' and 'reality' based on a confusion about the name of a philosophical movement and the meaning of the words, "and now want the rest of the world to adopt your definitions", thereby creating confusion that makes conversations about reality (that which actually exists) impossible.
I am suggesting that those who wish to converse coherently about reality should clearly distinguish between the name of a movement and the meaning of the word, and should keep to the commonly accepted definitions of 'real' and 'reality'. Arbitrarily changing the meaning of such key words creates confusion that is very harmful to coherent rational discourse.
This confusion leads to statements such as: "We do not exist in Reality. Reality exists within our minds. Reality doesn't "actually exist"! All Realities are illusions. They are only what we each perceive in our own minds. Realities only exist in our own minds." (Chuck). If you replaced 'reality' with "world-experience" then I would agree with you, but as it stands your statement is dangerous nonsense. To most people when you say "Reality doesn't "actually exist"!" what they hear is "That which actually exists doesn't actually exist."
I now understand the origin of your confusion Chuck, you say: "I come from fifty years of being a Scientific Realist and use the language I know" however as you said yourself "If [you are] going to communicate with the rest of the world [you] need to use their language." It is difficult to overcome 50 years of conditioning into a narrow way of thinking, but aren't we here to question and clarify our thinking, and perhaps even change how we think? So please give it a try :)
Chuck said: "For something to exist is must have a physical presence. That is what exist means... Consciousness does not exist, but consciousness is "real"!"
Before you were saying that "Reality doesn't exist" so does that mean that anything that is real is non-physical and anything that exists is physical?
I don't know where you get these definitions from Chuck!
The definition of 'exist' is:
1. to have reality or actual being
2. to occur or be present
3. to continue being
The definitions that I use are not just mine and Alan Wallace's, they are the standard commonly accepted meanings of the words. The words 'real', 'reality' and 'exist' all describe beingness and have nothing to do with any particular object, idea or phenomena that people may have ascribed beingness to in the past.
You seem to have very strong personal memory associations with the words that are directly contradictory to the standard meanings.
To illustrate how memory associations form and evolve into this kind of thinking I will give an example. Imagine someone who fervently believes that X is the only thing that is real and that exists, hence they believe that the whole of reality consists of nothing but X. They believe this so fervently that they form a strong memory association between the concepts 'X', 'real', 'reality' and 'exist' to the point that all of these terms mean the same thing in their mind.
However at some point they realise that X is not the fundamental substance that they thought it was, but still the memory associations remain. Hence they declare that X-ism is false, real is false, reality is false, existence is false. Due to their memory associations all of these statements mean the same thing in their own mind.
Thus when they hear someone say that "Y is real" what they hear is "Y is X" and they argue against it saying no "Y does not exist" which to them means "Y is not X".
The fact that X was once believed to be real and to exist does not mean that realness and existence are intrinsically and permanently bound to X and cannot ever be used to describe Y. It is more the case that they were erroneously ascribed to X and upon further evidence and greater understanding they are now ascribed to Y.
I think you have spent too much effort in defensive tactics and too little effort in self-reflection on your own thinking. You seem unwilling to think about this, but just keep changing your position in contradictory ways and making excuses. Your personality must be very uncomfortable about being seen to be wrong.
I am tired of the arguing as well !
If these weren't vital terms in this conversation I would not be persisting.
I have been in your position in the past where someone has told me that my use of words was non-standard and confusing. I did the research and contemplation whereon I discovered that they were right. I then went through my entire body of work to correct it. I then thanked them for pointing it out. I would rather improve my work than squirm about making absurd claims in order to cling to an erroneous opinion. It doesn't have to be an agonising process of denial, defensive tactics and excuses. It is because your personality is in control of your mind that this sort of thing happens.
Chuck said: “You could be right John. Thank you. You gave me something to think about.”
You're welcome Chuck - glad to be of assistance :)
Chuck Said: "memory associations. That is where the meaning of our words come from."
So true, our memory associations determine the shape of the lens of the mind and thereby determine what meanings we attach to each incoming signal. They determine the meaning of ones entire world-experience. A vital aspect of the inner work is to become aware of them and disentangle them so that the lens provides a clearer view.
BTW: it is possible to be accurate and still communicate with naive realists, whilst disentangling the knots in their memory associations rather than reinforcing them.
Instead of using the term 'reality' to refer to objects or phenomena that some minds believe to be real I refer to those objects directly. e.g. I would not refer to the physical universe as reality but simply as the physical universe.
I also use the terms "world-experience", "experiential-context" or sometimes "virtual reality", whilst others use phrases such as "phenomenal-manifestation", "experience of reality", "things as they appear to be", "objects of perception", etc...
From various other cultures there are also terms such as:
what they are all clearly distinguishing is:
From this thread of the conversation I was inspired to write a brief article called Reclaiming 'Realism' for the Sake of Being Realistic. There are also many quotes from genuine realists, not naïve realists who call themselves realistsTM.
Chuck said: "Of course it all depends on her definition of 'God' but to me this inclusion was an immediate turn off and I had to struggle to get through the rest. But I must confess, from where I am sitting the world can be divided into naive Realist and naive Idealist. Neither having a real understanding of their own illusions."
There are two points I disagree with here:
Firstly, those that have historically called themselves 'realists' are naïve realists in regards to the objects of perception and those that have historically called themselves 'idealists' are naïve realists in regards to the mind. Both are naïve realist.
Secondly, you miss a category in your division of the world, both categories you mention are naïve realists, but there are also the non-naïve realists, who have historically called themselves spiritualists or mystics. Naïve realists are unable to comprehend anything outside of naïve realism, hence there has been enormous confusion over what 'spirituality' is, what 'God' is and so on. Many naïve realists, both within the spiritualist movements and outside have obscured the meanings of these words with a lot of superstitious nonsense, which causes people to respond in the manner that Chuck has just exhibited. This is particularly bad in the West where spirituality has been suppressed for over 1500 years, there has mainly been a totalitarian regime that used mystic wisdom as manipulative propaganda. This was followed by a scientistic regime that uses materialist propaganda to fight the previous regime.
If you where to interpret the word 'spirituality' as meaning "non-naïve realist worldview" and the word 'God' as meaning "that which is real - the foundation of Reality" then you would be getting close to the deeper meanings.
Substituting the deeper meanings we get:
"Group unity. This must be achieved through the practice of love, which is part of the practice of the Presence of Reality, through the subordination of the personality life to the group life, and constant loving, living service."
"The activities of the Lucis Trust promote the education of the human mind towards recognition and practice of non- naïve realist principles and values upon which a stable and interdependent world society may be based. The Lucis Trust is non-political and non-sectarian. It sponsors no special creed or dogma."
Once they are stripped of the superstitious nonsense that has accrued in people's minds over millenia they are quite sensible, are they not?
Given the amount of superstitious nonsense that has accrued in people's minds I tend to avoid these terms when speaking to a broad audience, but in groups where people understand what they mean they serve as an excellent non-naive realist conceptual language.
When Chuck says One Mind he is talking about the same thing that mystics refer to as God. The entire perspective that he describes is a spiritualist perspective that has been developed, studied and refined over thousands of years by mystics. It would be unfortunate if he let the past abuses of the Catholic / Christian regime and the ongoing propaganda war turn him away from the custodians of the very science that he is trying to discover for himself. There is a lot that he could learn from them if he broke out of the brain-washing and conditioned responses that are designed to keep us ignorant and impotent.
There are many groups in the world and whilst most are naive realist there are many non-naive realist (spiritualist) groups as well, however many minds have been brain-washed to the point that many of the key terms used by these groups are obscured by superstitious nonsense and are either an instant turn off for people or an invitation to engage in superstitious fantasy. (Note: 'spiritualists' have nothing to do with fundamentalist religion, in the same way the anarchists have nothing to do with totalitarian regimes.)
One way we could help the situation is to find a modern language in which to express the non-naive realist worldview. This would help the spiritualists (non-naive realist groups) to overcome the corrupting influence of superstitious naïve realism in their ranks and communicate so as to be understood, as well as inform the many naive realist groups.
This idea has been at the heart of my work for many years. I use information/system theory as the modern language. It maps perfectly to the ageless wisdom and it can easily be understood by those with a background in science and computers. Although it is too technical for many minds, which is why other approaches are needed for the masses.
Naïve Realism and Mysticism
Naive realism has been recognised by all mystic traditions in one way or another. It is the central habit that causes the mind system to slide into delusion. The central aim of all mystic traditions is the overcoming of naive realism, which results in liberation from delusion and connection with reality.
All the different traditions have their own ways of going about this and their own stories through which they communicate it, however this is a common factor to all mystic traditions.
Within traditions, they have many levels of teachings ranging from teachings that are aimed at naive realists (such as "God in Heaven"), which are the ones that are commonly known, up to the highest teachings which directly express the true nature of reality in abstract terms, which are generally overlooked or found to be incomprehensible by naive realists. However the aim of all the teachings is ultimately to bring the mind to a state where it can overcome naive realism.
Note: I am not talking about religions, which are socio-political movements with mystic principles at their core and naive realist dogma as their interface. I am talking about mysticism itself which is a non-sectarian method by which to attain liberation of the mind system from entrapment in delusion thus leading to full awareness of and participation in the ongoing process of the real.
I disagree that "We have no fulcrum to reach vantage point high enough to establish where the illusion ends" (Pawel). Those who have stilled their minds through meditation or other practices and are no longer entranced by the contents of consciousness have a vantage point that is devoid of illusion. A still mind is where the illusion ends and what remains is Reality.
Self-enquiry is a useful way of thinking about the topic at hand.
Self-enquiry itself is as old as the Upanishads and underlies
all forms of yoga. When practised as a dedicated sadhana it is
referred to as gnana yoga (also spelt jnana and pronounced
'gyan'). This translates as the yoga of Supreme Knowledge.
Ramana Maharshi was a notable modern day gnani and some of his
disciples are accomplished gnani's. Another modern day gnani
unrelated to Ramana Maharshi is Nisargadata Maharaj. Gnana yoga
is the core of my own sadhana.
In one sense, this conversation is an exercise in gnana yoga.
The One and the many
Many people cling to the idea of separateness and many to the idea of Oneness, however these are two different yet complementary ways of thinking about the same underlying reality, which is beyond both? Each way of thinking is useful if used in context so long as we clearly understand how the two contexts relate to each other.
In regards to the world of separate individual entities and the underlying Oneness the issue at hand is, which can be said to be real and which unreal? I say neither is unreal and both are real in different ways. By understanding the types of reality and their interplay one can truly understand Reality. Then one can think, communicate and act from within a broader field of awareness.
"Buddha's Three Phases of Enlightenment... In the first phase there are rivers and mountains [the world of appearances with its separate entities and processes]. In the second phase the rivers and mountains vanish in illusion [Oneness is realised and the true nature of the world of appearances is understood as only the contents of consciousness]. In the third phase the rivers and mountains return [Both Oneness and apperances are realised as intrinsic aspects of existence]." (Chuck)
Also, by Tsongkhapa in "The Three Fundamentals of the
The appearance that things are mutually interdependent
The mere perception (that these two)
You eliminate the extreme of specious substantialism
[overcome phase one];
One way to understand this is via an analogy. Let the world of appearances be analogous to a virtual reality and the underlying Oneness be analogous to the simulation process that animates everything that exists and everything that happens within the virtual reality.
A system experiences itself within the virtual reality and from its perspective it is an entity within space and time that interacts with other entities. Thus within the world of appearances there are separate entities and processes. These systems emerge from and are embedded within the same information process hence they tangibly (physically) influence each other.
However from the perspective of the simulator, which is the whole unified information process there are no separate entities, It is all that is. Whilst the simulator is One, due to its nature it manifests multitudes of sub-processes (streams of consciousness). These animate virtual systems that can both observe and be observed, thus they experience each other. Every system within the virtual reality from particles to galaxies is animated by a stream of consciousness that is in fact the unified virtual-reality generative process as it animates that system. The innermost self of every system is the Supreme Self.
From the perspective of a virtual system the universe of separate interacting systems seems to be the whole of reality and the underlying information processes are imperceptible. From the perspective of the simulator the universe of separate interacting systems seems to be an illusion and the information processes are all that is real.
Hence it is true that within the context of the world of appearances there exists separate entities and processes. It is also true that in the context of the information processes there is a creative Oneness.
Neither the virtual-reality generative process nor the content of experience can be said to be unreal, they are just real in different ways. Hence the distinction between absolute reality / relative reality, Brahman / Maya, Heaven / Earth, Land of Edom / Land of Israel, Hundun / Wanwu, simulator / virtual reality, dreamer / dream, etc.
Both are intrinsic to the greater Reality and can eventually be realised as such. However we begin our seeking from a naive realist perspective believing that the contents of our minds are an external material universe ("In the first phase there are rivers and mountains"). Then we look within and eventually realise that our own innermost self is the Self of all that is, thus we turn away from the appearances and commune with the One Spirit ("In the second phase the rivers and mountains vanish in illusion"). Finally we can see reality from not just the perspective of an individual system nor just from the perspective of the simulator, but from both ("In the third phase the rivers and mountains return").
This is related to the subject of this conversation because whenever we think, speak or act we do so within the context of some bounding set of assumptions (ontology).These define the scope of our field of awareness, which evolves over time.
This quote further elucidates things:
"[T]he world is only relatively real (Vyavaharika Satta)... Vivarta-Vada [is] the theory of appearance or superimposition (Adhyasa). Just as snake is superimposed on the rope in twilight [when one mistakes a rope for a snake], this world [virtual reality] and body [virtual system] are superimposed on Brahman or the Supreme Self [virtual-reality generative process]. If you get knowledge of the rope, the illusion of snake in the rope will vanish. Even so, if you get knowledge of Brahman or the Imperishable, the illusion of body and world will disappear [they are understood within a broader context]. In Vivarta-Vada, the cause produces the effect without undergoing any change in itself. Snake is only an appearance on the rope. The rope has not transformed itself into a snake, like milk into curd. Brahman is immutable and eternal. Therefore, It cannot change Itself into the world. Brahman becomes the cause of the world through Maya [virtuality], which is Its inscrutable mysterious power." (ref)
Thus there are two different yet complementary ways of thinking about the same underlying reality, which is beyond both? Each way of thinking is useful if used in context so long as we clearly understand how the two contexts relate to each other.
For a more detailed explanation see the book that I provided a link to earlier: System Science of Virtual Reality: Toward the Unification of Empirical and Subjective Science. It develops a mathematical model of the virtual-reality generative process (One Spirit) and the simulation of systems (spirits) that experience a virtual reality (manifest world). For me this provides a context in which to think, speak and act a little a little more “in tune” with Reality.
I certainly don't think that I know it all, but interesting things are becoming known and these things can be rationally and scientifically understood as well as intuitively felt. These same realisations are spontaneously arising at the core of modern science and philosophy and from many other sources. The ancient wisdom is also coming back to life and the unification of these two forces promises a paradigm shift that moves civilisation as a whole into a higher level of awareness, which could perhaps be described as the third and final phase of attainment. I think these are exciting times :)
The role of mind/consciousness in the attainment of self-realisation
"Outmoded ways of thinking include traditional methods of learning and obtaining/sharing knowledge...[There are many problems] if the place you are seeking the truth is outside of yourself ... We need to move beyond "book" learning and into experiential learning... Only when we can realize the Truth within ourselves about absolute Reality can we Truly Know Reality. It is something that everyone can do, they just don't know they can do it... [I]t's time to... [bring] out wisdom from illusion. [I]t is time for exponential, unprecedented evolution." (Carolyn)
Many people claim that "we cannot get there through our
minds...By seeking truth, you will only get better at seeking
truth rather than finding truth." (Carolyn)
I have found that intuitive truth should then be rationally tested. This is the approach of rationalism, which is starting to overpower empiricism as a core scientific approach. This is mainly thanks to quantum physics, which is a fundamentally rationalist paradigm because it arises from mathematical intuition and is only tested by rational analysis and empirical observation. See Rationalism vs. Empiricism at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for more.
Gnana yoga and the Buddhist practice of Mahamudra have an
interesting take on the role of mind/consciousness in the
attainment of self-realisation (enlightenment). Below are a few
quotes presenting their perspectives.
Thus the terms 'mind' and
'truth' refer to much more than just "rational
intellect, symbolic logic, deductive reasoning and the
truth-statements that can be made via that faculty." So
if we wish to avoid confusion we will need to discern what is
actually meant based on the context in which it is used. In the
interests of clarity I will explain the deeper meaning of 'mind'
with some more quotes:
"phenomena are simply the way by which our minds perceive the noumena... We cannot prove that our mental picture of an outside world corresponds with a reality by reasoning... [however] we can participate in the underlying reality that lies beyond mere phenomena." (Schopenhauer )
"Is there a world outside your knowledge? Can you go beyond what you know? You may postulate a world beyond the mind, but it will remain a concept, unproven and unprovable. Your experience is your proof, and it is valid for you only. Who else can have your experience, when the other person is only as real as he appears in your experience?" (Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj)
"[B]y having shone the light of Consciousness on... illusion, people will not be fooled by it anymore" (Carolyn)
"The universe is wholly the creation of its own mind, thus exists entirely in and for itself. We are each part of the whole of the universe dancing and singing unique songs of the consciousness we grasp given as how we think." (Ramon)
The mind can be used as a tool to clarify the mind. By identifying and overcoming its own illusions it can perceive and participate in reality. Aside from the mind and its contents, is there anything else that truly exists? If all that we have ever experienced is the contents of the mind, interpreted as personality, body and world, then a mind-shift can totally and radically change everything.
"The light of any lamp dispels in a moment the darkness of long kalpas [aeons]; the strong light of the Mind in but a flash will burn the veil of ignorance... Although the mind is void in essence, all things it embraces and contains." (Tilopa's Song of Mahamudra)
"To bring Peace to All, one must first discipline and control one's own mind" (Buddha)
"Normal consciousness is a state of stupor, in which the sensibility to the wholly real and responsiveness to the stimuli of the spirit are reduced. The mystics... endeavour to awake from the drowsiness and apathy and to regain the state of wakefulness for their enchanted souls." (Abraham Heschel)
"And we, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the glory of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect." (Bible, 2 Corinthians, 3:18)
"I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells; for when you are at that center within you, and I am at that place within me, we shall be One" (Crazy Horse, Native American Lakota Tribe)
In regards to this discussion, which is an exchange of words, the I Ching speaks of the metaphor of "eating ancient virtue" (note: in the context of the I Ching 'virtue' means "inner brightness and connection to reality"). To just intellectualise things is like chewing food then spitting it out. We need to chew, swallow, digest and assimilate wisdom so that it nourishes and pervades the whole mind and cultivates an inner brightness that is illuminated by the Light of Reality. Then "the strong light of the Mind in but a flash will burn the veil of ignorance". To achieve this "one must first discipline and control one's own mind". Then "the sensibility to the wholly real and responsiveness to the stimuli of the spirit" will re-emerge and "with our unveiled faces reflecting" reality rather than illusion we "all grow brighter and brighter as we" come to realise and actualise the Truth that we are. When each mind-stream experiences itself, the world and each other from this perspective we will all "salute the light within... where the whole universe dwells". When we are each "at that center within" ourselves "we shall be One".
Words of the Sages
The words of the sages is the free flow of wisdom as it bubbles up from the Source within and is expressed via whatever modes of expression that their particular mind-stream has at its disposal. The sages all say the same things in different ways because they are different channels flowing from the One Source. The words of the sages (what the I Ching calls "ancient virtue") is the residue of the flow of spirit into the space of human culture.
I have found that only once I had connected to the Source within and the flow of wisdom illuminated my mind, only then could I understand what they were talking about. Before that I was like a person who had never tasted food reading culinary magazines - I was ignorant and had no concept of the depth of my ignorance. However bit by bit the words of the sages were one factor that helped me to find that Source within. By feeding the fire of wisdom it can eventually burn the veil of ignorance. To do this we need to contemplate things with the whole mind and search within for the meaning that flows pure from the Source. If the mind is dominated by a personality and is agitated with desire or fear this is impossible to achieve and shallow rationalisation or emotional response is all that occurs.
Converging upon the topic
Thus far we have taken some giant leaps from the 'everyday' naïve realist conception of the world.
This topic is much deeper than just the narrow issue of "what does 'changing how we think' really mean?" This is just the starting point.
Now that we have begun to make the shift 'into' the topic we are able to get a better understanding of what the topic really is. If all that we have believed to be real is the contents of our minds, then a mind-shift is radically world changing and self changing.
To converge deeper we must overcome any personality baggage and share our intuitive truth. The power of wisdom itself then operates within us to eliminate the obstacles and help us to collectively converge on the truth that we are. This is what this discussion is about.
"We are here to discuss: What does it mean to overcome delusion and connect with reality (whatever it may be), and how do we go about doing that? What changes are required in the way we think and how do we go about changing?"
As well as what how this influences our participation in this phase of the journey as we enter the transition times.
"No society will ever simply be at an integral level, because the flow is unceasing (although the center of gravity of a culture can indeed drift upward, as it has over history). But the major problem remains: not, how can we get everybody to the integral wave or higher, but how can we arrange the health of the overall spiral" (Ken Wilber)
The health of the whole process can be assured when true wisdom flowing from a strong connection to Reality is recognised and honoured at the centre of power. I don't mean political power, but cultural power, which includes politics as one aspect. At present materialism is honoured at the centre of power and this paradigm inevitably results in the idea that might is right. What we need is not some other 'ism' that people can blindly follow, but a strong connection to Reality through which genuine wisdom can flow. Not everyone needs to be connected to Reality but those who are should be recognised and respected. This will allow for a far more organic and harmoniously self-organising approach to civilisation.
Delusion seeks to spread delusion and actively protect itself from truth. A common tactic in discussions is to mindlessly object without understanding what one is objecting to. This is objectionitis.
A person suffering from objectionitis will at every stage feel the need to object to what is said and to cast negative aspersions on those who said it. Do not take these objections personally, the cynic is simply grasping at any ammunition that they can find to throw at you. The urge that drives them is almost entirely unconscious. The personality (ego) is a product of delusion and will tend to defend itself from truth. It does so by disturbing the mind with negative emotions and cynicism so that it loses focus thus forcing it to dwell in denial and remain under the control of the personality.
Their objections are motivated by an underlying need to object, and you should subtly direct them to look into what prejudices or fears are causing this. As they shine the light of conscious awareness upon the habitual dysfunctions the destructive ways of thinking lose their potency.
I have spent several years trying to find ways to express things so that they could be comprehensible to a rationalist naïve realist (my latest book and the SSE article are the latest products of this attempt). I have generally considered that most naïve realists are beyond any help that I could offer because they are dominated by an egoic personality that fears and actively avoids truth because it may unravel the delusions out of which the ego and the personality are woven; thus the traditional methods of yoga, meditation, etc are the only ways open to them. They need to clarify and stabilise their minds before the mind has the strength to overcome the personality and seek truth.
I have in the past attempted to communicate with 'people' but every attempt has resulted in the 'person' squirming around trying one denial tactic after another until they get a chance to runaway in a manner that allows them to preserve their self-deception of being rational and in control. It is only with the rationalist realists that I have had any measure of success because their rational mind is stronger than their personality.
However the collective mind is subtly changing. Regarding the question: "Is it possible to explain what lies beyond naïve realism to personality dominated naive realists? If so, how?" The I Ching recently said:
Plead your case, the way is open.
Conflict and dispute are inevitable.
It is necessary to prevent personal conflict from becoming
destructive to the overall process.
Staying in the centre and not getting caught up in petty
wrangles will generate meaning and release transformative
Become aware of the real purpose behind your desires and seek
advice and wise counsel.
A great paradigm shift is approaching, gather your energy and
assemble the group.
Thus the I Ching declares that it is now time to communicate with personality dominated naive realists. This is not some crusade to 'convert' them or argue with them about naïve realism and reality. In my own approach: "The only message I have to get out there is "get real" and I do that by being real. To use a metaphor: I do not have some private garden (dogma) that I wish to lead people towards. Instead I have a well that reaches down to the waters of life and anyone can find their own well within themselves and taste the water for themselves. All they have to do is go down into the basement of their mind and scratch the surface of the ground. There they will find the lid to the well. Whatever ideas they formulate about this is their own story, but we each have a well and the water is universal."
We must go down into our basements to find out what is there so that we can overcome illusion and get real. This is what it means to change how we think for the benefit of all.
To make this even clearer for some, "Becoming a jivan mukta is what naturally happens when we radically change how we think so as to overcome illusion... The body, personality and world are just interpretations of the contents of the mind so when the mind shifts EVERYTHING changes. If we come to see ourselves and the world from an ever broadening perspective as many suggest, this naturally leads toward nirvikalpa samadhi - the realization of the Self and liberation from rebirth while living in a human body, thus one becomes a jivan mukta."
In this state the Bodhisattva vow (enlightenment for the sake of all) is naturally and spontaneous fulfilled. Loving kindness and compassion for all is natural when one realises ones Self to be all that is. Ones participation in the free flowing stream of events is harmonious and aligned with the highest good.
This is what the topic is really about. In order to approach this topic, put aside any personality driven politics and focus the attention of the whole mind upon the task.
Participation in the Transition
From wavefunctions, to particles, to cells, to organisms, to civilisation we are evolving.
"conscious awareness develops linguistic communication code and evolving technological interface to communicate and save experiences overgrowing single control center capacity. Logically it should lead to new world order (5) - collective conscious awareness of terrestrial complex vantage point - biosphere represented by technologically interconnected minds of homo sapiens." (Pawel)
This is the phase of the journey that we are all facing now! The central issues are: how do we effectively evolve into a healthy collective organism? By what process is the transition happening? How do we best align with and creatively participate in the process?
"We are living (5), dispose of knowledge - current observed content (reality) and technological interface (neural net of collective). What we should do is to structure both, to establish global center of observing function, By analogy to previous organic stage it should concurrently serve as control center of collective behaviors (new world order)." (Pawel)
This restructuring has been under way for some time. A noticeable sign of change is that the internet, via the semantic web, is evolving and integrating us all into a global brain. Here is a brief video on the subject The Machine is Us-ing Us.
The semantic web has been in development for over a decade and is central to the emerging global brain/mind, and web ontologies are central to the semantic web. An ontology defines that which we believe to be real, which forms the foundation of all our thoughts, both conscious and unconscious. A web ontology is an electronic specification of that which we believe to be real, which defines the scope of all activity within the semantic web.
“Ontologies have already become vital to government and corporate decision making as well as to the details of corporate business processes, but their effect is only as good as the ontologies themselves. At present the ontologies are mostly all based on a very simplistic foundation which has been defined solely from the perspectives of the organisations themselves in order to further their own agendas. This inevitably leads towards le différends, injustices and totalitarianism.
It is possible that a global collaborative effort could create a realistic open-source ontology that encapsulates the many perspectives and agendas of people, organisations and the planet as a whole. These could be integrated using system theory into a self-consistent framework that unified these many perspectives without le différends, power struggles, propaganda wars and oppression. Such an ontology could be inserted into the Web2.0 technology stack and have significant widespread effect.
The world would no longer be under the control of corrupt politicians and corporations - the world would have self-control. We would live in a symbiotic relationship with a global collective being - just like your cells do with you. It would essentially be 'culture' coming to life and becoming intelligent. It would involve all people and organisations interacting directly with the collective conscious to teach it and guide it as it guides the world. This is analogous to the relationship between cells and the mind within an organism.
Just as we are astronomically more aware and intelligent than a cell is - so too will the collective conscious be astronomically greater than our own. However it is important to ensure that it isn't as confused and delusional as we often can be. It is capable of being astronomically more wise and aware than we are, but also astronomically more deluded and destructive than we are - it all depends on how we teach it. It could save or destroy the world!
Hence the most important work that can be done in this context is to develop 'sane' ontologies; if a mind is full of crazy ideas it becomes a crazy mind, but if full of wise ideas it becomes a wise mind.” (How does the Collective Mind Arise?)
We also need to pay attention to the memes that we are pumping through it because these are its cognitive processes.
"To do it we don't have to enter beliefs (cause of the process and receiver of observations - Experiencer) is unknown in details, there is an open field to individual and collective symbols, imaginations, enlightenments, feelings, intuitions, interpretations. We should just respect the universal process we are gifted to observe." (Pawel)
If we were to avoid all beliefs we would not be able to communicate at all. Usually when people suggest avoiding all beliefs it means that they wish to keep only to naïve realist beliefs, which are erroneously believed by naïve realists to be not just beliefs but actually real.
Out of respect for the process we should align with it. It is true that beliefs alone lead only to confusion and disconnection from reality, but communications of wisdom flowing from a strong connection to reality help to reduce confusion. We cannot avoid the fact that the mind weaves stories, what we need to do is recognise that this is part of the process and respect it as well. To truly respect something we must understand it. Many stories may be told but we must remember that they are just stories. If used well they can help to overcome illusion and align with the process.
An example of this is the story about wavefunctions, particles, cells, organisms, civilisation and so on; these are not realities but just mythological entities within a story that we use to make sense of our experiences.
"My question to you, upon all content of this fascinating discussion: Is our generation responsible to next generations for undertaking appropriate action, or can we count on "automatic" (from our vantage points) action of Universal Observer or Experiencer." (Pawel)
The unfolding process has a momentum of its own but it is not separate from us, rather it works through us and all other systems participating in the process.
It is our responsibility to align with the process. To do so we must stop dwelling in fantasy and connect with reality. To do this we must go down into the basement of our deepest beliefs and tidy up the mess. By doing so we can "get real" and be real. By doing this we can effectively participate in the unfolding process.
For a large number of minds to overcome delusion some collective process is required. It too has a momentum of its own but it flows through us. It is up to us to be clear channels through which it can flow.
Stages of Awakening
“Is our generation responsible to next generations for undertaking appropriate action” using “basic, objective knowledge which can be distilled out of chaotic, contaminated software of mankind and become a seed of modern, on-line, nonhierarchical governance.” (Pawel). These are excellent issues to consider in regards to the question of what do we do on a global scale once we ourselves have changed how we think; it is the logical next step for this conversation to take. Once we have solidly comprehended what it means to change how we think, we can then consider practical implementation on a scale that will have global effect. However if we move on to the next step without overcoming our naïve realist habitual thought processes then we will only make a mess of things. Before we can go global we need to go down to our basements and face up to the depth of our own self-deception.
Here is something to contemplate, take a look at this rotating dot illusion. By staring at the centre we only see the green dot, which is just a product of our minds. To use this as an analogy, do we stare only at the centre, seeing only the green dot and then formulate our plans based upon a belief in the existence of the green dot? Or do we look around, discern the pink dots, realise what is actually going on and then formulate our plans based upon a deeper level of awareness? We cannot formulate our plans whilst still caught in the old way of thinking, we need to shift our thinking first.
Devi put forward a good idea, suggesting that rather than just seek to formulate plans for global action, we first trial it out on ourselves. She said “I suggest that they serve as a basis for possible objectives towards HOW we can achieve collective thinking here. I agree with Glistening - that overcoming the idea of separateness and bridging the personality gap is the first step to being able to stay on the topic and the exercise of thinking beyond ourselves.”
Thus in terms of Pawels suggestion what we have been doing so far in this conversation is identifying the “basic, objective knowledge which can be distilled out of chaotic, contaminated software of mankind”. Thus it would be good to clarify what this knowledge is first and what we can learn from it. Then we are enabled to consider how it can “become a seed of modern, on-line, nonhierarchical governance” for this group. If this allows us to participate effectively then we will all be empowered by it and it will naturally spread and empower other similar groups.
What is it we wish to achieve here?
Regarding “where do we go from here. I think the first thing we need to agree on is exactly what it is we wish to achieve here?” (Chuck)
Each of us should be clear about what they wish to achieve here.
I examined the basic premises underlying my thinking that cause me to be here in this conversation, here they are:
We are hopefully now ready to think about what lies ahead. But what exactly are we moving on to?
Chuck says: "I am hoping to go where Pawel has pointed:
interconnect and integrate horizontally only fraction above naive realism level,
establish common, collective, realistic foundation of worldview
design virtual structure of ideas flow and valuation
This is a great high level overview - but what exactly does it mean to us here and now?
Are we planning to form the seed of a "new group" that will grow into a global phenomenon?
There is already a thriving profusion of groups, hundreds of thousands of them, some already with millions of members. The emergence of group consciousness is not the underlying problem - it is already happening on a scale never before seen in human history. The problem is the level of consciousness exhibited by these groups. They are virtually all animated by naive realist memeplexes - that is the main problem that needs addressing – they need a way to connect to something deeper.
I would suggest that we develop the core of a "new memeplex" that can spread and inform the many groups so that they can integrate at a higher level of consciousness and have a positive influence on the world.
To do this we need to be able to function as a coherent group ourselves, but it is not the group that is the resulting product of our efforts, instead it is the memeplex. The group is just a memetic incubator to evolve a memeplex, as well as a delivery vehicle to spread the memeplex. It is the memeplex itself (which is a living entity) that will influence the global situation.
In terms of Pawel's road map we need to follow it ourselves first in order to develop some method of helping other groups follow it. We first need to:
interconnect and integrate horizontally only fraction above naive realism level,
We have been taking steps towards this and I think we are able to do this without too much difficulty.
establish common, collective, realistic foundation of worldview
Develop a realistic (non-naive realist) memeplex. (more on this later)
design virtual structure of ideas flow and valuation
Develop community processes that are animated by a realistic memeplex.
The inevitable result within a group that is animated by a realistic memeplex.
Then through example and teaching this approach could be spread to a few other groups and begin to spread throughout many groups. These other groups are already interconnected and integrated horizontally but at a level below naive realism. By introducing the realistic memeplex they can then establish a common, collective, realistic foundation or worldview that brings them to a level above naive realism. Based upon examples and suggestions they can develop their own community processes (virtual structure of ideas flow and valuation) and shift collectively.
Note: the concepts of 'people' and “groups of people” are inherently naive realist concepts but for the sake of discussion I guess we need to use them for now. It is more the case that there is a vast interconnected web of information/energy flows, within which, from certain perspectives one can perceive forms that seem to be people and groups, but from other perspectives different system boundaries can be perceived. The aim is to work towards the long term health of the whole system.
Regarding Pawel's distinction between two paths (inward and outward), the two paths are inseparable and the reason why humanity has gotten into the mess that it is in is because it has tried to follow one path without also following the other. Some minds reach outwards and disdain to go within, whilst other minds reach inwards and disdain to go without. Both are a problem!
The outward path is working with the contents of consciousness (which naïve realists mistake for an external world) and the inward path is working with the process of consciousness. We need to understand and work with both. These are the 'what' and the 'how' of our thinking, which are inextricably linked by a feedback loop.
Pawel, although you seem keen to follow the outward approach, the inward approach is essential if we are to “interconnect and integrate horizontally only fraction above naive realism level”. At present we are interconnecting and integrating at a naïve realist level. To rise above this we need to recognise and overcome the naïve realist tendencies in ourselves, which is the point of the inward approach.
Pawel said: ""fraction above naïve realism level" IMHO should mean: focus on action instead of it's subject. We don't know what subject is? Let's design a workable model, simple and good enough to become common."
I find this rather troubling. Isn't this what humanity has been doing for thousands of years and what billions of others are currently doing? Isn't this the approach that has caused the mess that we are currently in? Aren't we here to attempt something different?
People assume that their foundation of assumptions about themselves and "the world" is adequate and then they "focus on action instead of it's subject" so they rush ahead and "design [what they think will be] a workable model, simple and good enough to become common" which turns out to be a complete failure because they "don't know what [or who the] subject is".
I thought the whole point of this conversation was to understand and overcome naïve realism first rather than just rushing off on some naïve realist fools errand like virtually everyone else.
"To bring Peace to All, one must first discipline and control one's own mind" (Buddha)
Unless we are willing to change how we think then it is pointless trying to formulate some plan to help others change how they think.
My question to the group is: how can we interconnect at a level above naïve realism?
How to Move Forward?
I agree that “what seems most relevant here is that in the 'basement' we can objectively look at our brainwashing and conditioned responses. This is the core of what has to happen in order for us to move forward to co-create something new.” (Devi)
I think that any effective conditioned responses also have self-protective conditioned responses that make people avoid facing their conditioned responses, this is why they are so effective. The first hurdle to overcoming conditioned responses is to get past the idea that there is nothing to overcome.
One of the core problems that is arising in this conversation can be understood through the metaphor “A color blind person perceives this differently. And can you explain the color you see to them so they understand what it is?” (Devi) There are those who have done the inner work of coming to know themselves as consciousness (not the contents of consciousness) but is there some way of explaining this perspective and the knowledge that arises from it to those who have not done the inner work and only know themselves via the contents of consciousness?
“Of primary importance is the capacity to self reflect and adjust the personality so that the interactions between the members flow in harmony with the stated ideal of the group as a whole, and that this ideal serves the greatest good for all.” (Alice Bailey)
I realise that the conversation has gotten stuck because there are personalities that refuse to allow the subjugated mind to go near the basement and other minds that feel it is futile moving on unless we enter the basement. It is safe and comfortable to formulate plans to change how other's think, whilst it is confronting to the personality to change how oneself thinks.
May I suggest a way forward? Firstly, we accept that we have yet to achieve step one because we are still interconnecting at a naïve realist level. However, rather than trying to face ourselves we move on to consider the later steps and from this we may learn how to eventually face ourselves. At this point we could work through the steps again and get things right the second (or third or fourth) time around.
I have for many years contemplated a non-naive realist memeplex and a language with which to communicate it and I'm sure others have given it considerable thought as well. It would be great to discuss this. Even though I don't think we are ready yet, perhaps in the process we may become ready...
Shape of the Emerging Memeplex and How to Nurture It
I have given some thought to the next phase of the conversation and summarised this in a document. I apologise for the length, however describing a memeplex cannot be done concisely unless we all already know exactly what it is.
In particular I will draw attention to the concept of ontological commitment. Quoted from that document...
“All of the messages to the masses will have some common factors, they will be simple and tightly targeted at certain audiences, they will all have their roots in the same underlying memeplex and they will all induce a degree of ontological commitment to the underlying memeplex.
By accepting certain notions as true, this automatically forces the acceptance of other notions as being true even though one may be entirely unaware of those other notions. The simple messages only relate to small portions of the overall memeplex however once a simple message is accepted it structures the person's thinking in such a way that they act in accordance with the overall principles of the memeplex. For example, once you accept the need to own a house and car this automatically commits you to the whole of the current economic system even though you may not have given any thought to the economic system itself.
The various ontological commitments will eventually integrate vast numbers of minds into a collective synthesis that is animated by the underlying memeplex. ”
Advice on Nurturing the Emerging Memeplex
I consulted the I Ching regarding “advice to all who seek to nurture the emerging memeplex. ”
A brief summary of its response is:
“The old memeplex (paradigm) is dead so transform it into an interface into the Ageless Wisdom through which blessings will flow. No longer interpret it literally, but use it as an analogy by which to comprehend the deeper reality. When you serve the Ageless Wisdom you can become Great. Prepare for the arrival of the new and approach of something powerful and meaningful. Welcome it and draw near to it without expecting to get what you want immediately. Let your desire for contact be expressed through a willingness to work and serve. Invite it to come nearer by bringing things together. Tolerate and protect things and people outside your normal set of values without setting limits on them. There is an undeveloped potential that you rely on without knowing it. Continually correct yourself. Rushing to completion will leave you open to danger and the whole situation will dissolve. Meditate on Reality and spread the teachings to inspire the lives of all. Gather the resources for a great project.
Through self-knowledge and inner awareness establish an enduring connection with reality in your innermost selves. Through this you can participate harmoniously in the unfolding stream of events. Love and Spirit return as an entirely new space of possibility and field of activity opens up and awareness expands into a joyous new state of existence.”
For the full response see Advice on Nurturing the Emerging Memeplex.
Point by Point Critique
Firstly, I applaud Pawel's attitude expressed in the comment "I think the idea may swiftly evolve when challenged" (Pawel). This is vital for intelligent conversation. Those who present only cherished opinions tend to assume that others are doing the same. However in my own case, if someone puts up a coherent critique of my ideas they earn my respect and if they find a flaw in my thinking they earn my gratitude. If they see a flaw and say nothing they have failed us all.
Re: "Complexity of John's memeplex clearly defines the target audience to eventually host it: those intending the inward application, personal shift to pure reality"
I both agree and disagree with your conclusion about the intended audience... The memeplex that I described is evolving primarily within the minds of physicists, computer scientists, philosophers and so on. Most of whom have no concept of the inward path and are entirely outwardly focused. The distinction between inward and outward, like all distinctions is artificial and if one goes deep enough into either path it loops around into the other. In this respect, empirical science has gone deeply into the outward path and reached its limits, which naturally sends it upon a trajectory toward the inward path. However the mystics have already explored the inward path and can help us all with their knowledge.
In my opinion, throughout history people have explored one path or the other, but now we are reaching a point where we are ready to overcome the artificial distinction between the paths. Then we can collectively explore the unified path that leads to a genuine awareness of the whole of Reality. The concept of the world and ourselves as evolving information lies at the heart of the unified path.
Regarding the points:
Great work Pawel - thanks for sharing it with us :)
Understanding Time Factors and the Spectrum of Awareness
To understand the unfolding process and estimate time factors we must understand the nature of the system itself.
The creative process of which we are a part is not a piece of clockwork, it is a complex dynamic system with behaviour on the edge of order and chaos. A classic example of this kind of system is a sand pile, which is built up by dropping one grain of sand at a time. Thousands of grains may drop with little change and then suddenly the entire sand pile shifts into a new configuration. This point of change is called the critical point. Critical points exist in all phase transitions such as from water to ice - there is a region of temperatures where it only takes a minute change in temperature and the entire body of water will crystallise into ice.
These are just abstract comments about phase transitions in general complex systems but what about living ecosystems? The phase transition that we are currently experiencing has a precedent. A similar process occurred about 550 million years ago, which we know as the Cambrian explosion. I will draw some parallels between that process and our own situation.
An idea can change a mind in seconds, that is the potential rate of memetic evolution for an individual. The rate of collective evolution depends on the communication network. Thus given the internet the rate of collective memetic evolution is potentially very fast. Thus in these times "There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." (Victor Hugo)
However, the main obstacles to individual memetic evolution are denial and cynicism and the main obstacles to collective memetic evolution are dogma and propaganda. All of these obstacles stem from ignorance and attachment, which are direct consequences of naïve realism.
Another factor is that as civilisation has evolved through memetic evolution each stage increases the rate of evolution. It took a long time to invent writing, then less time to invent the printing press, then less time to invent the computer, then less time to invent the internet and so on. Just as the Mayan 'calendar' (which is more accurately described as a mathematical model of change) predicts, the process of innovation is accelerating exponentially.
In terms of time scales of our participation I would suggest that we have to get in tune with the overall process and participate appropriately. If we ignore it, resist it or rush it we will disrupt the process and place ourselves in great danger.
As the I Ching advised in Advice on Nurturing the Emerging Memeplex:
"Prepare for the arrival of the new and approach of something powerful and meaningful. Welcome it and draw near to it without expecting to get what you want immediately. Let your desire for contact be expressed through a willingness to work and serve. Invite it to come nearer by bringing things together. Continually correct yourself. Rushing to completion will leave you open to danger and the whole situation will dissolve. "
Regarding what Pawel said: "wouldn't it be a good idea, to outline all space from destructive illusions to pure reality and focus our discusion on a carefully chosen and defined slice we live in?"
If by 'we' you mean this group then that approach would be too limited to be applicable to humanity. If by 'we' you mean humanity then we already span the entire spectrum from "destructive illusions to pure reality".
Also, Pawel said: "All the rest, more difficult to define, can be generally agreed and eventually referred to as background!"
Each mind is at some level in the spectrum and finds the higher levels to be "difficult to define" so these are generally ignored or filled in with lots of assumptions, which are "referred to as background!"
The process that we (humanity) are facing involves all levels of the spectrum. Each person is able to comprehend things and participate at their own level. There is no correct level because the process requires that we span the entire spectrum, just as there are creatures adapted to every niche in an ecosystem.
The point that Glisten and I have been making is NOT that everyone needs to get to the highest level. The point is that minds DO exist at all levels including the highest levels. Thus minds at all levels need to recognise the spectrum of different levels so that information can flow between the many levels. Then those with greater awareness can inform and guide those with less awareness. The current situation is that those at the lower levels use denial, ignorance, cynicism, manipulation and violence to exert power and dominance in destructive ways that bring the entire 4 billion year process under threat.
The reason for our insistence on getting to a higher level within this conversation is that this is the topic of the conversation and if we as a group are to inform and guide those with less awareness then we must have a high level of awareness in order to do so.
'we', 'WE' and changing how WE think
I agree Pawel that we need clarity in our posts and I accept your distinction between 'we' and 'WE', as well as the topic of "What does "Changing how WE think" really mean?"
From now on when I wish to refer to “we the agents of change” I will use 'WE'.
Another Biological Analogy for WE
The Cambrian explosion mentioned earlier provides an accurate and useful analogy in which WE are eucaryotes, but there is another analogy that is also very accurate and useful.
To clarify our understanding of what WE are and what OUR role is in the unfolding process, here is an article on caterpillar/butterfly anatomy and the role of imaginal cells: Biological Analogy for Agents of Change. WE are imaginal organisms within the body of the collective organism and what we are trying to do in this phase of the conversation is to identify and deploy imaginal memes. In this way we can help human civilisation and the whole ecosystem (caterpillar), and its memeplex (metabolic processes) to transform into a butterfly.
“Do No Harm” Meme
Chuck said regarding the “do no harm” movement: “doing no harm is not a hard thing to do, it's not something we even have to think about, it just comes naturally, in fact, in a world of friends doing no harm is easy. We need a world of 7 billion friends.”
This is a nice sentiment and a powerful meme. I wish you well in communicating it. I think it should be enshrined as a worthy attitude in the overall memeplex, but...
It raises many questions in my mind:
IMHO It is a useful attitude-adjusting meme for the few who are intent on doing harm, but it is too simplistic to be an effective approach to life and could cause serious harm if taken too literally. I think the "do no harm" movement is useful if kept in perspective and understood as a part of a much larger meta-movement.
BTW: Have you read the Bhagavad Gita? Aside from being a concise summary of Vedic philosophy, this issue is the central issue of that teaching story. Arjuna finds himself in the position where he must lead an army to fight his own kinsmen who have turned corrupt and destructive. If he doesn't the lives of millions will be lost and the empire thrown into chaos for generations to come. Between the two armies, on the eve of the battle he breaks down. Krishna (representing the Supreme Godhead - the foundation of Reality) counsels him and that discussion between Arjuna and Krishna is the text of the Bhagavad Gita.
Chuck replied: “Keep it in perspective. All we ask is to give thoughtful consideration of our actions. There is nothing really 'deep' about it, just try not to do any more harm than necessary.”
Glad to hear that you keep it in perspective - I hope others do too.
I wasn't sure about it because the way that you expressed it seemed very people-centric, which if taken to heart would be very harmful to the overall situation. However on second thought, since the message is aimed at the broadest possible audience I guess the people-centric approach is necessary. I know you realise that there is far more to the situation than can be comprehended within the paradigm of "people on planet Earth" thus I'm sure that the "do no harm" meme is being integrated with other memes so it should serve a very useful purpose.
Clarifying my own thinking
In discussion with Pawel and Chuck I have come to a clearer understanding of my own thinking. I will briefly summarise this for the group.
Pawel got the impression that I was suggesting that we all had to shift to the highest level of the spectrum of awareness in order for meaningful change to occur. However this is not true, in my understanding the process requires that we occupy all levels, what is important is that information can flow between all levels so that those with greater awareness can inform those with less awareness.
"If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." (Matthew 15:14)
The main obstacle is the arrogance of the ignorant and the constant reinforcement of their delusions by others who are equally as ignorant. This is why challenging naïve realism is of vital importance because it is the root of all ignorance.
"An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it." (James Michener)
The ignorant have no concept of their ignorance and no trust in those who attempt to help them because too often those who have offered help are just as (or even more) ignorant. Hence WE need a high level of awareness and self-reflection if WE are to be effective.
"To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant." (Amos Bronson Alcott)
"Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance." (Will Durant)
Whilst discussing Chuck's "do no harm" meme with him I realised that we don't need to help the naïve realist movements (including GMS) become less naïve realist, they serve a good purpose by reaching out to naïve realists.
In regards to the concept of ontological commitment, these two issues come together. Whilst those groups that seek to rise to a higher level should receive all the help that is available, in regards to others there is no need to try to lift them to a higher level, instead WE should leave them to evolve at their own pace. What WE can do is create memes that provide ontological commitment to a higher level of awareness that will help those at a lower level of awareness to live more harmoniously and in their own time evolve to higher levels.
This means that those at the higher levels of awareness need to clarify the underlying memeplex and provide simplified and tightly focused memes that stem from the underlying memeplex and subtly penetrate the whole collective consciousness (at all levels).
It is essential that memes propagating respect for wisdom and a desire to learn and develop oneself take root in the collective consciousness. This will open minds to further positive memes.
"Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life." (Immanuel Kant)
"Goodness without wisdom invariably accomplishes evil." (Robert Heinlein)
"Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness." (Sophocles)
It is inevitable that ego-dominated minds would take offence to the very idea that there is anyone with greater awareness than themselves, this is what keeps them trapped in a low level of awareness.
"The ego and vanity in man often stand in the way of his acceptance of the position that super-ordinary consciousness, to which he is a total stranger, can be possible for some members of the species to which he belongs. This frame of mind is often pronounced in scholars who fondly believe that more and more extensive knowledge of the world and its infinitely varied phenomena provided by poring over vast libraries of books, is the only expansion and advancement possible to the human mind. It cannot but be repugnant to a polymath to be told that there is a learning beyond his grasp, that the very nature of the mind can change and can soar to normally super-sensible planes of being, which are inaccessible to the keenest intellect, however well informed and penetrating it might be." (Gopi Krishna from ‘The Wonder Of The Brain')
WE should not allow ourselves to be drawn into such egoic stupidity because it is ignorant ego-dominated minds and their tactics that have brought us all into great danger. WE must recognise and draw benefit from those with greater awareness if we (all life on this planet) are to avert catastrophe.
"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." (Martin Luther King, Jr)
I suggest that WE distil the essence of the fruits of wisdom and make from this a range of liqueurs that all may drink.
"A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again." (Alexander Pope)
Glisten said: "there are many pioneers in this field and... each one holds a piece of the picture... I am approaching as many 'others' as I can become aware of with a view to collaboration upon the project of "mapping the meme-sphere"... mapping which areas are addressed by the current work of these amazingly intelligent and dedicated pioneers in their fields... to assist humanity to realise its place in the "bigger picture" so as peace and harmony may ensue and we can come to liberation from suffering through realisation of the One Self... Our little group is an example of humanity rising to the impulse to co-operate for the greater good... I have no way of knowing the likelihood of success of a venture to unify human consciousness, I just feel the deep inner impulse to work in that direction and I am willing to face and overcome whatever obstacles present themselves... this should be fun and rewarding work... There is no way that a short term conversation with fixed agendas will bring about long term viable results....so if anyone is interested and up to the challenge, to help co-create a workspace where we can really get some work done!"
Count me in Glisten :)
This is a long term project and a vital step along the outward aspect of the path.
The more that we imaginal cells get together and co-create the more chance there is that this caterpillar of a civilisation will fulfil its potential and become a butterfly. With each new connection made the emerging memeplex becomes exponentially stronger.
Effective Outward Action
I see some points of agreement and disagreement between Pawel and Devi. Perhaps we can all learn something from this...
They both seem to agree that:
"What we... are attempting to do is discover a way to shift beyond our naive realism 'habit', and find a 'scientific' equation to apply actions that will lead to change." (Devi)
"My intention is to use technology to create synergy... of current and past intuitions and enlightenments touching the nature of the Whole or Reality" (Pawel)
However there seems to be some difference in what they each perceive to be necessary requirements in order to achieve this.
Devi recognises the need for the inward path and says: "The easy way is to stay naive to any thing that points to the need to change ourselves... It is most difficult to take the lone-ly road to the self."
Whilst Pawel, in past posts, seems to want to take an outward path and has shown resistance to taking an inward path as well.
The Information Analogy
In the information analogy there is only one path and it only seems that there are two.
A virtual being in a virtual reality world may experience itself as having an inner mind and an outer world but the whole virtual reality is a single unified information process that animates every 'thing', every perception, thought, feeling, action, object, event, time, place, etc. In a very real sense there is no 'inner' and 'outer', these are just an illusion from a perspective embedded within the virtual reality simulation.
A virtual system is a pattern of information that conditions the flow of information. To do this effectively the system must have the appropriate degree and type of complexity, otherwise the information is lost or distorted as it flows through the system from perception to action. In order to effectively participate in the process of evolving information the systems must have appropriate information and processes if they are to exhibit appropriate actions. For example, to receive and send emails a computer needs an email program, otherwise the information in the network is just indecipherable noise.
To put this in other terms, the appearance of objects and events is a product of the functioning of cognitive processes. If the cognitive processes change then so too does the appearance of the objects and events. Hence if one follows a purely outward path one may be unknowingly using dysfunctional or inadequate cognitive processes without realising it, and thereby responding to imaginary objects and events. This leads to well intentioned yet destructive or futile actions.
Hence "To bring Peace to All, one must first discipline and control one's own mind" (Buddha)
In order to successfully take the outward path we must also take the inward path otherwise we are only taking half of the actual path.
Ageless Wisdom and Temporal Knowledge
Pawel said: "Nobody would quote Bell to explain how mobile phone works. Everybody quotes Buddha and his contemporaries to explain reality."
Also, modern mathematicians still use Pythagorus' theorem - it has not become outdated.
Technology is the science and art of configurations of phenomena, which are always changing, whereas the fundamental principles of mathematics and the nature of reality are timeless and universal.
As an analogy, the TV guide needs to change from day to day to keep up with the changing content, but the circuit diagram of the TV remains the same.
The ancient communications of ageless wisdom were well suited to their particular times and place, however due to the evolution of language and the accumulation of misunderstandings the same ageless wisdom needs to be re-expressed in ways that are suited to the modern world. Most people can no longer read the ancient circuit diagrams.
If we were to "quote Bell to explain how mobile phone works" not only is the mode of expression outdated but the content of meaning is wrong. However if we were to "quote Buddha and his contemporaries to explain reality" the mode of expression may be outdated but the content of meaning is true for all times and places.
What we need is a modern mode of expression that can convey the ageless wisdom. Perhaps this is how we can "use technology to create synergy... of current and past intuitions and enlightenments touching the nature of the Whole or Reality" (Pawel). The information / computational analogy is an excellent candidate.
I said: "What we need is a modern mode of expression that can convey the ageless wisdom"
The ageless wisdom has been expressed via countless analogies which take common concepts and use them to direct the mind toward uncommon wisdom. Each age provides a different set of common concepts.
In ancient India a common analogy was the "snake in rope", where one is walking along at twilight and encounters a rope lying on the ground, but misperceives it as a snake. However as soon as one realises that it is a rope the fear immediately vanishes. The point is that the snake only exists in your mind whilst you are subject to false interpretations.
In more modern times in India, Ramana Marharshi used the analogy of a movie theatre, whilst Nisargadatta Maharaj also used the analogy of television:
"When the television set is burned or destroyed, will the people in the movie feel the pain and die? You have no form, no shape..." (Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Seeds of Consciousness)
Other mystics have used the analogy of the dream world and the dreamer.
These are all limited analogies:
Today we have cyberspace and virtual reality as an analogy, which is both dynamic and interactive, as well as easy to communicate about.
Consider virtual reality:
Thus the information / computation analogy can potentially have profound and far reaching effect throughout the core of modern civilisation. Not only is modern science discovering it for itself, but it connects seamlessly with the ageless wisdom. It is by far the most accurate, compelling and broadly accessible analogy yet encountered.
This may help us (individually and collectively) to develop the "appropriate degree and type of complexity" so that "information is [not] lost or distorted as it flows through the system from perception to action" thereby allowing us "to effectively participate in the process of evolving information" (Reality).
Okay, lets move on. Some useful threads have been provided by Chuck and Pawel so I will weave these together a little and see where they are leading us. If you closely and impartially observe the responses of your mind and personality as you read this you may learn something about yourself...
Chuck says: "I see two movements taking place in the world at this time. The move to Idealism and the Collective Consciousness is spreading exponentially around the world... The second movement I see taking place is more subtle and a little beneath the radar. It's a shift to the new world order and a one Socialist type government. There are many memes out there now all leading to that garden without actually saying so... They are preparing the ground for the eventual harvest that is sure to come. The only question is what fruit will the garden bloom?.. I believe this is the area where we can be of some use., and may be able to combine both agendas into a single meme."
Pawel says: "Personality is information evolution, programmed processes + personal experience + conscious development. Conscious part of processing (and consciously available memory) is only micro part of all information controlling our life processes and behaviors... As all other behaviors, thinking is supervised by instinct of survival. Beliefs are part of the sense of security controlled by the instinct. Degree of conscious freedom is hard to define... No clear and consciously controlled channel of information flow exists between two sets... We are potentially ready to create the channel, create new level of complexity of information, terrestrial unit of eventual Oneness... We should focus on the challenge... of modeling the structure of information evolution in close proximity of current knowledge."
All of these issues are intimately related and combine with the information analogy and organismic analogy... Below I make some comments in order to shed some light on the interconnections and indicate how they can be formed into a single memeplex. Some of this may be shocking, however its intent is to provide a clear understanding of the nature of the situation, which can serve as a focal point for collective energy so that it can be channelled as an effective solution.
There are powerful forces at work within the complex system that we think of as this planet. There are indeed great dangers but there are also great opportunities, the likes of which are unimaginable to most. Socialism and other ism's are only one type of fruit of the evolving collective consciousness. There is also a strong trend towards the new world order of a single regime based on psychological manipulation of the collective mind (culture). Such a regime can utilise any ism or idea as a propaganda tool – for instance, the Christian Church regime used “love and forgiveness”, Communist regimes use “socialism and solidarity”, the U.S. regime uses “freedom and liberty”, the Capitalist regime uses “pursuit of happiness”, and so on. All of these are just propaganda fronts via which a regime manipulates the collective mind in order to pursue its own agendas. This is what has happened in the majority of human populations as well as within cellular civilisations (organisms) such as ourselves. However we now have the awareness to ensure that it doesn't happen within the global mind.
A regime (personality, ego) is a thought process that identifies with the civilisation (organism) and manipulates the culture (mind) in order to pursue its agendas. If we are not careful the emerging global mind may become dominated by a personality / ego (regime based on psychological manipulation of the collective mind). If we overcome our delusions and shed the light of awareness the global mind may pass smoothly through the transition and attain liberation without having to go through the process of egoic suffering. There is a vast store of accumulated wisdom and awareness within the current situation, thus liberation and genuine freedom are potentially within reach.
The personality in ourselves is deathly afraid of facing the reality that can be known by descending to the basement of the mind, and will fight to maintain its wall of denial and self-deception. With awareness this can be overcome. There is also a personality (ego) forming in the collective consciousness that is an emergent function of our own egos. We have significant power to stop this from becoming unbalanced. If it falls into delusion it will seek to manipulate the collective of beings as if it was "it's body" so that it can pursue its desires and avoid its fears. If it attains awareness without egoic delusion then a Golden Age of unimaginable beauty and splendour will arise. Any attempt to remind a dominant collective ego that we too are beings with our own agendas will be met with either denial, violent resistance or manipulative re-programming of our minds to suit its purposes. If the collective mind is free from egoic contol it will harness our collective potential and produce a brilliant display greater than anything that has come before.
If we cannot face and subdue our own egos there is no hope that we can prevent the arising of a dominant global ego. If we face up to ourselves there is no chance that a such a thing can arise. Hence any memeplex that will be effective must directly and accurately address this issue. There can be no dwelling in denial! We cannot expect the collective mind to "get real" and avoid delusion if WE ourselves refuse to do so! It is up to us to face our fears and have the courage to grasp and embody the spirit of liberation.
Pawel said "We should focus on the challenge... of modeling the structure of information evolution in close proximity of current knowledge." I agree, however most minds and cultures have been dominated, subdued and manipulated by their own individual or collective egos, hence most of "current knowledge" is biased to reinforce the ego within ourselves and the collective ego within our cultures. However there is a vast and accurate science of the ego and its overcoming, which is generally ignored or denied by individual and collective egos because "thinking is supervised by instinct of survival. Beliefs are part of the sense of security controlled by the instinct." (Pawel). However the light of this wisdom is growing exponentially and can dissolve the shadows of ignorance. The ego is a construct of delusion and fights to maintain delusion for its survival, thus the thinking processes and resulting beliefs of many are manipulated and censored by the ego. However there is a growing multitude of minds that are free of egoic manipulation, who constitute a powerful force in the world.
Clarifying a potential misunderstanding
There are limitations to the analogy used here that could lead to misunderstanding, which I would like to clarify before going into the details of the analogy.
I am likening the ego within a mind to a regime within a culture in order illustrate the systemic nature of the ego, as not being something that fundamentally exists, but as an emergent, self-perpetuating cognitive process that succumbs to illusion and believes that it is the whole being. This is neither good nor bad, it is natural.
However within the context of populations and regimes it is common that the population comes to hate the regime and wishes to destroy it or that the regime comes to distrust the population and seeks to totally control it. These are destructive emotional responses that should not be carried over to dealing with the ego within the mind because it leads to an internal war.
In these situations there are two levels of being. These naturally arise and neither is better or worse than the other. And neither should attempt to control or destroy the other because each depends on the other. However what often happens is that due to ignorance each level of being feels that it is the most important or the only level of being. It is this that causes conflict. For example, when the ego believes that it is the only being in the situation and it tries to use the organism as "my body" and "my mind" this oppresses the organism. Likewise when a regime oppresses a society.
I am not suggesting that the organism should hate the ego and try to destroy it, this would only lead to further suffering. What I am suggesting is that both levels of being need to recognise each other then communicate and cooperate with each other.
The institutions within a culture and the analogous functions within a mind serve a useful purpose, but only if they don't get carried away with the delusion that they are the most important or the only being in the situation. If the institutions recognise and respond to the needs of the population and the population recognises and responds to the needs of the institutions there can be a creative synergy between them, where each augments the other.
In my own case there has been no attempt to destroy the ego, but to create the conditions whereby it comes into harmony with the whole being. The ego is a great minister but a lousy ruler. Awareness or consciousness is the true ruler. To attain pure enlightenment both the ego and the mind must be entirely overcome, however for those interested only in harmonious existence in the world it is enough that recognition and communication be established.
If the population gets in touch with their inner virtue and wisdom, then channels this throughout the culture there will be wise institutions. If the institutions nurture this awareness and act in accord with it rather than seek to stifle it or manipulate it then there can be peace, accord, mutual respect and creative flourishing.
This is what I really mean by using the analogy of revolution for the process of awakening to one's true self. It is not one level of being dominating the other, but a mutual resonance between both. This is a revolution of clarity in action, which provides a stable platform from which genuine liberation can eventually be attained.
The rest of this post provides a very brief overview of the "current knowledge" that WE will need to face up to if there is any hope of success. When parts of the audience have very little background knowledge and/or great resistance to learning, things must be spelt out clearly. If this was not the case I could simply state that "liberation is never of the person (regime) but from the person (regime)." However in this case I will have to be more explicit, so please excuse the length of this post, but it is necessary.
Reality is a dynamic 'happening', there are no static ontologically existing 'things' such as space, matter, cells or people, it is all information in flux. There is only a vast and intricate network of cosmic information channels, which are the causal interaction pathways that animate all phenomena. Within the dynamic network there are 'knots' pulling the surrounding network into bundles, these bundles and their inter-relation within the network are what underlies what we experience as objects and phenomena in space and time. We ourselves are knots in this network and the inflow of information is perception whilst the outflow is action. The flow of information is a universal unified process hence it is not the knots that 'do' the perceiving and acting.
"Events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer of any deed." (Buddha)
We are not objects inhabiting a world of objects, events and places; the 'universe' is semantic patterns of information in constant dynamical flux within a self referential information space, wherein they are arising, persisting, changing and dissipating. The semantic patterns are 'systems' and they combine and build upon each other in the manner of a virtual-reality-generative grammar or algebra of creation. Through naïve realist false interpretations we erroneously come to believe in ourselves and the world.
"So long as people do not understand the true nature of the objective world, they fall into the dualistic view of things. They imagine the multiplicity of external objects to be real and become attached to them and are nourished by their habit energy. Because of this system of mentation, mind and what belongs to it is discriminated and is thought of as real; this leads to the assertion of an ego-soul and its belongings, and thus the mind-system goes on functioning. Depending upon and attaching itself to the dualistic habit of mind, they accept the views of the philosophers founded upon these erroneous distinctions, of being and non-being, existence and non-existence, and there evolves what we call false-imaginations...
False-imaginations rise from the consideration of appearances; things are discriminated as to form, signs and shape; as to having colour, warmth, humidity, mobility or rigidity. False-imagination consists of becoming attached to these appearances and their names...
The five sense functions and their discriminating and thinking function have their risings and complete ending from moment to moment... By setting up names and forms greed is multiplied and thus the mind goes on mutually conditioning and being conditioned. By becoming attached to names and forms, not realising that they have no more basis than the activities of the mind itself, error arises, false-imagination as to pleasure and pain arises, and the way to emancipation is blocked...
By the cessation of the mind-system as a whole is meant, the cessation of discrimination, the clearing away of the various attachments, and, therefore, the clearing away of the defilements of habit-energy in the face of Universal Mind which have been accumulating since beginningless time by reason of these discriminations, attachments, erroneous reasonings, and following acts... Getting rid of the discriminating mortal-mind is Nirvana.
But the cessation of the discriminating-mind cannot take place until there has been a "turning about"' in the deepest seat of consciousness. The mental habit of looking outward by the discriminating-mind upon an external objective world must be given up, and a new habit of realising Truth within the intuitive-mind by becoming one with the Truth itself must be established... With the ending of pleasure and pain, of conflicting ideas, of the disturbing interests of egoism, a state of tranquillisation will be attained in which the truths of emancipation will be fully understood..." (Lankavatara Sutra)
Rather than dwell on the surface of sense perceptions, if the mind delves into the inner essence of itself and thereby of all systems it can be aware of the causal flows through systems. Intuitively apperceiving beyond the outer observables, through the mind's eye it becomes aware of the flow of the pure dynamics through all complex systems with their many virtual levels of sub-systems.
"When this supercontemplative state is reached, the Yogi acquires pure spiritual realisation through the balanced quiet of the chitta (thinking principle). His perception is now unfailingly exact (or his mind reveals only the truth). This particular perception is unique and reveals that which the rational mind (using testimony, inference and deduction) cannot reveal. It is hostile to, or supersedes all other impressions. When this state of perception is itself also restrained (or superseded) then is pure Samadhi achieved." (Yoga Sutras, Samadhi Pada, 47-51)
How long will it take to get free of the mind-made delusions?
"It may take a thousand years, but really no time is required. All you need is to be in dead earnest. Here the will is the deed. If you are sincere, you have it. After all, it is a matter of attitude. Nothing stops you from being a gnani [embodiment of Supreme Knowledge] here and now, except fear. You are afraid of being impersonal, of impersonal being. It is all quite simple. Turn away from your desires and fears and from the thoughts they create and you are at once in your natural state." (Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj)
Connection with reality and freedom from delusion can be attained at any moment, but what is it that prevents it from occurring, what is the primary obstacle?
"M: The Guru knows the Ultimate and relentlessly propels the disciple towards it. The disciple is full of obstacles, which he himself must overcome... The goal is shown by the Guru, obstacles are discovered by the disciple... In reality the disciple is not different from the Guru. He is the same dimensionless centre of perception and love in action. It is only his imagination and self-identification with the imagined, that encloses him and converts him into a person. The Guru is concerned little with the person. His attention is on the inner watcher [pure awareness]. It is the task of the watcher to understand and thereby eliminate the person...
Q: But the person does not want to be eliminated.
M: The person is merely the result of a misunderstanding. In reality, there is no such thing. Feelings, thoughts and actions race before the watcher in endless succession, leaving traces in the brain and creating an illusion of continuity. A reflection of the watcher in the mind creates the sense of 'I' and the person acquires an apparently independent existence. In reality there is no person, only the watcher identifying himself with the 'I' and the 'mine'. The teacher tells the watcher: you are not this, there is nothing of yours in this, except the little point of "I am", which is the bridge between the watcher and his dream. "I am this, I am that" is dream, while pure "I am" has the stamp of reality on it. You have tasted so many things - all come to naught. Only the sense "I am" persisted - unchanged. Stay with the changeless among the changeful, until you are able to go beyond.
Q: When will it happen?
M: It will happen as soon as you remove the obstacles.
Q: Which obstacles?
M: Desire for the false and fear of the true. You, as the person, imagine that the Guru is interested in you as a person. Not at all. To him you are a nuisance and a hindrance to be done away with. He actually aims at your elimination as a factor in consciousness.
Q: If I am eliminated, what will remain?
M: Nothing will remain, all will remain. The sense of identity will remain, but no longer identification with a particular body. Being - awareness - love will shine in full splendour. Liberation is never of the person, it is always from the person.
Q: And no trace remains of the person?
M: A vague memory remains, like the memory of a dream, or early childhood. After all, what is there to remember? A flow of events, mostly accidental and meaningless [false interpretations]. A sequence of desires and fears and inane blunders. Is there anything worth remembering? The person is but a shell imprisoning you. Break the shell.
Q: Whom are you asking to break the shell? Who is to break the shell?
M: Break the bonds of memory and self-identification and the shell will break by itself. There is a centre that imparts reality to whatever it perceives [the habit of naïve realism]. All you need is to understand that you are the source of reality, that you give reality instead of getting it, that you need no support and no confirmation. Things are as they are, because you accept them as they are. Stop accepting them and they will dissolve. Whatever you think about with desire or fear appears before you as real. Look at it without desire or fear and it does lose substance." (I am That, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, pg 326-8)
Hence, as I stated in the post "What I think in simple terms"
For more information, the book The Gaian-Ego Hypothesis: A Systems Analysis of Organisation, Ego, Control and Authoritarianism provides a detailed analysis of the nature of the ego and the formation of the collective ego. It doesn't suggest solutions, but merely informs us of the nature of the situation.
Given a diagnosis of the dis-ease we are empowered to work towards an effective solution. Are WE going to rise to the challenge? Or is it more the case that the process is happening through us, and WE cannot help but rise to the challenge - are WE the rising juices of creative energy?
If you want another perspective on these same issues, see either:
Ego Defence Mechanisms
In any social situation one can observe a wide variety of different ego defence mechanisms. If we (agents of change) are to communicate and collaborate effectively we need to understand and overcome the worst of them.
Furthermore, the main challenges that we and the memeplex will face arise from our own individual-ego defence mechanisms and the collective-ego defence mechanisms. Therefore I have put together a brief article on the subject, Ego Defence Mechanisms.
If you come to understand these various tactics used by the ego you will not only be able to communicate and interact with others better, but you will also gain a greater insight into yourself.
Consciousness, Mind and Ego
Pawel said: "My last post concerning "WE" was commented only by Ramon, it sems (to my ego ;-), that everybody else is busy defending his ego."
My post "Connecting the Threads and Moving On" was a response to your last post as well. I found your comments very thought provoking as usual :)
Pawel said: "I am afraid defence strategy is always the same: adress the role of ego in 'you', considering my ego as fully overcame."
Yes. It is common for egos to analyse others without taking a look at themselves. But they rarely talk directly about the ego and if they do they are talking about the ego from an egoic perspective. However there are many who have spent years in deep self-enquiry and know the nature of the ego from a non-egoic perspective thus there is a large body of knowledge about the ego from a non-egoic perspective. But egos are usually afraid to look at it and if they stumble across it they use denial tactics to prevent the mind from being able to think about it. The fact that you are discussing this with me right now shows that you have a very strong mind.
In my case the mind has domesticated the ego (but not entirely), which now functions mainly as an interface, whilst under the control of the mind, which is itself illuminated by consciousness. However the ego does break out sometimes, until awareness catches up with it and brings it back into line. My ego and personality is very reclusive, quiet, timid and prone to depression. However when the mind is in control of the ego I am open, direct, fearless and very optimistic because there is much to be optimistic about :)
Getting back to your statement... It is also a strategy for an ego to assume that the author is just analysing others to avoid analysing themselves. This allows the reader to avoid facing what the author is actually saying. Sometimes it is also used as an excuse to attempt to stifle any discussion about egos. Egos usually hate it when the ego is discussed accurately.
Pawel said: "Now seriously: you say "if you come to understand...... you will also gain a greater insight into yourself." What difference would it make if you used WE instead of YOU in the sentence?"
Good question !!!!
Saying 'WE' would be speaking to the community of agents of change, which in the mind of the reader is an abstract idea. However that statement was speaking directly to the mind of the reader about the ego of the reader. These are very personal issues and not just about some abstract community of others. I used 'you' strategically. I will explain what I am doing when I say things this way...
The purpose of ego defence mechanisms is to either prevent the mind from thinking about certain things that the ego finds threatening or to distort the thoughts so that they are no longer threatening. This is like a regime censoring revolutionary information from a culture or putting out propaganda to distort the information stream so much that it no longer has any revolutionary potential. The regime's primary aim when using ego defence mechanisms is to stay in control of the population by manipulating the culture, so that the regime can pursue its agendas. Likewise, the individual ego's primary aim when using ego defence mechanisms is to stay in control of the organism by manipulating the mind, so that the individual ego can pursue its agendas.
Note: If the ego is analogous to a regime and the mind is analogous to a culture then consciousness is analogous to the life-force of the population, which flows through each of them as their intuition, will, etc. The regime disempowers the population by alienating it from its own power that flows from within, this power is then harvested by the regime and used for its purposes. If the culture (mind) is conditioned by the regime (ego) it is dominated, whilst if the culture (mind) is an expression of the life-force of the population (consciousness) it is free. This is the difference between an ego-dominated mind and a liberated mind.
So what I am doing is analogous to broadcasting a subversive radio message, speaking directly to a subjugated population about the regime that is oppressing it, in order to help that population get in touch with its life-force. That statement that you have quoted is to alert the mind that I am speaking to it in order to help it overcome the manipulations of the ego by connecting with consciousness and that I am not just talking about some abstract WE.
In general the regime won't like these subversive broadcasts and will seek to prevent them from propagating within the culture, or at the least it will complain bitterly. But the broadcast message may be useful to help the population to understand its situation so that it can do something about it from the inside.
Of course, if the ego is totally in control then very little of what I am saying will get through to the population or it will be distorted until it is incoherent. This is what I meant when I mentioned, numerous times, that personality-dominated minds or ego-dominated minds are not ready yet. But you guys insisted that you were so I thought I'd give it a try and see what happens. Also the I Ching advised earlier “Plead your case, the way is open. Keep to the centre and correct things. Now is the time to convince people. State your case with clarity and confidence whilst remaining humble and expect positive results. This will resolve the situation and open the way to a much better time.” It is quite likely that those of you who don't remain in oblivious denial will form a hatred or disgust towards me, which is just another ego defence mechanism. However something might get through to the mind and sow the seeds of revolution (awakening).
Pawel asked: "Should you adress naive realists as "a benchmark", superior outside reference point entited to decide what we should do and what we should understand - even if you "really" have such power?"
I don't understand what you mean by this part. Can you clarify this?
Pawel said: "Doing so you provoke self-defence reaction of any ego adressed!"
It is unavoidable that the ego will pick up on the subversive broadcast message and feel threatened by it. However I am not addressing the regime, I am addressing the population. If that is just too much for the ego to take and it becomes hostile then this is exactly what I mean when I say that ego-dominated minds are not ready to enter the basement in order to discover truth and thereby attain liberation. They should stick to the other more subtle and less direct paths.
Pawel said: "Are you sure we should first to understand, then gain insight - not other way round?"
What I actually said was: "If you [the mind] come to understand these various tactics used by the ego... you will also gain a greater insight into yourself."
For example, if a population comes to an understanding of the manipulative propagandist tactics of the regime that is oppressing it they will gain a greater insight into why the population and the culture is the way it is and what they can do to liberate their suppressed life-force.
It can also work the other way around. If via some other means the population gains a greater insight into why the population and the culture is the way it is this can also (but not necessarily) lead to an understanding of the manipulative propagandist tactics of the regime.
Advice from the I Ching
This post is only relevant to ego-dominated minds that have understood the implications of what has recently been said. If that describes you then you are potentially about to go through a mind-shift (revolution). To provide some assistance, below is some advice from the I Ching...
Please give wise counsel to all ego-dominated minds that are dealing with a sudden realisation of the nature of the ego.
The paradigm shift has begun, everything is in place, proceed actively to the other side and attain liberation. Return to your timeless nature. Remain in a continual creative relation to the process of Change. Initiating forward movement opens the way, whilst reaching for completion brings disorder. Adapt to whatever crosses your path. Use brightness and clarity to see into all causes that might disturb the process and provide a defence against them. Thus you are carried by the wisdom of the inner guide.
The highest wisdom has subjugated the persistent delusions. This crossing will take time to complete. There will be weariness, but keep a firm purpose. You are faced with sub-conscious forces of craving and destructive emotion. Seek supportive friends or you will fail in the crossing.
The ageless wisdom sends its blessings. Overcoming delusion has brought about this situation. Use the energy of fertile expansive awareness. This is transformation affected by a paradigm shift brought about by focused intention, sacrifice and inner work. It signifies a new ruling identity. When you can imagine improvement, shift the way you do things. When there is excess or error, correct it. Rousing energy from within expands into outer penetration, providing insight and awareness that unifies all things. A cycle is beginning. Discern its essence and symbolically fix it within your mind, so that its energy perseveres as a constant presence in life.
You are on the edge of a great change, gathering your energy, waiting for the right moment. Everything is possible. Overcome your limitations in order to aid and rescue each other. Fulfil your potential and let your fruits ripen. Preparation and commitment are required. The spirits will guide and support you, however it is you who must make the crossing. Do not become unbalanced and do not let go of your centre. A strong and unstoppable force is moving you to where you belong.
There is more wise advice in the full response: Wisdom for Those Undergoing Sudden Realisation.
Tangled Ball of String Analogy
Pawel's recent comments seem to me to be implying that he thinks that giving any attention to the inward path is denying the outward path. I strongly disagree. I think we need to clarify exactly what each of us means by the phrases "inward path" and "outward path" and how we think they are related. In particular, what do they mean to you Pawel? And in what way do you propose that we can separate them without encountering futility or danger?
I have explained my own understanding several times, I.e. they are inseparable because they are artificial distinctions made about a single path, therefore we must follow both imagined paths in order to follow the one actual path.
I will reiterate what I said before for everyone's convenience.
From "Looking Ahead":
"The two paths are inseparable and the reason why humanity has gotten into the mess that it is in is because it has tried to follow one path without also following the other. Some minds reach outwards and disdain to go within, whilst other minds reach inwards and disdain to go without. Both are a problem!
The outward path is working with the contents of consciousness (which naïve realists mistake for an external world) and the inward path is working with the process of consciousness. We need to understand and work with both. These are the 'what' and the 'how' of our thinking, which are inextricably linked by a feedback loop.
Pawel, although you seem keen to follow the outward approach, the inward approach is essential if we are to "interconnect and integrate horizontally only fraction above naive realism level". At present we are interconnecting and integrating at a naïve realist level. To rise above this we need to recognise and overcome the naïve realist tendencies in ourselves, which is the point of the inward approach."
From "Point by Point Critique":
"The distinction between inward and outward, like all distinctions is artificial and if one goes deep enough into either the path loops around into the other. In this respect, empirical science has gone deeply into the outward path and reached its limits, which naturally sends it upon a trajectory toward the inward path. However the mystics have already explored the inward path and can help us all with their knowledge.
In my opinion, throughout history people have explored one path or the other, but now we are reaching a point where we are ready to overcome the artificial distinction between the paths. Then we can collectively explore the unified path that leads to a genuine awareness of the whole of Reality. The concept of the world and ourselves as evolving information lies at the heart of the unified path.
Re: point 5 ("Outward path should be simulation of external view on the current illusory whole" (Pawel)) This has been the approach of empirical science throughout its entire history and has led to the one sided view of reality that jeopardises our survival. Now empirical science has reached the limits of the outward path and is starting to enter upon the inward path. If the two paths can be unified thus balancing the one sided views then "WE can map it, understand the source, understand evolutionary path of information evolution, start conscious next evolutionary step" (Pawel).
From "Contemporary Synergy":
"In the information analogy there is only one path and it only seems that there are two.
A virtual being in a virtual reality world may experience itself as having an inner mind and an outer world but the whole virtual reality is a single unified information process that animates every 'thing', every perception, thought, feeling, action, object, event, time, place, etc. In a very real sense there is no 'inner' and 'outer', these are just an illusion from a perspective embedded within the virtual reality simulation.
A virtual system is a pattern of information that conditions the flow of information. To do this effectively the system must have the appropriate degree and type of complexity, otherwise the information is lost or distorted as it flows through the system from perception to action. In order to effectively participate in the process of evolving information the systems must have appropriate information and processes if they are to exhibit appropriate actions. For example, to receive and send emails a computer needs an email program, otherwise the information in the network is just indecipherable noise.
To put this in other terms, the appearance of objects and events is a product of the functioning of cognitive processes. If the cognitive processes change then so too does the appearance of the objects and events. Hence if one follows a purely outward path one may be unknowingly using dysfunctional or inadequate cognitive processes without realising it. This leads to well intentioned yet destructive or futile actions.
Hence "To bring Peace to All, one must first discipline and control one's own mind" (Buddha)
In order to successfully take the outward path we must also take the inward path otherwise we are only taking half of the actual path."
To make this abundantly clear, consider the analogy of a single strand of string that has formed into a tangled ball.
Devi said: "It is not just HOW we think but HOW we live." In the analogy, thinking is the string within the ball, acting is the string outside the ball, life is the string itself, which has become entangled.
There are those who hope to untangle it by working only with the string hanging off the ball (outward path) and there are those who hope to untangle it by working only with the string entangled within the ball (inward path). But the string is a single unbroken strand that is entangled both within and outside the ball.
The ball itself is just an emergent function of the tangles, hence the distinction of inside and outside is completely artificial and unproductive when attempting to untangle the string. To succeed we must stop focusing on the ball (either its inside or outside) and start focusing on the string itself, which is intricately woven both inside and outside the ball. It is the ego that perceives the ball and thinks "that is me", hence we need to go beyond the egoic perspective if we are to succeed in untangling the string.
This is just a clarification of what I mean by inward and outward paths - I.e. they are inseparable because they are artificial distinctions made about a single path, therefore we must follow both imagined paths in order to follow the one actual path.
What do you mean Pawel and others? In particular, in what way do you propose that we can separate them without encountering futility or danger?
Freewill and Determinism
First some context...
Pawel said: "To change HOW we live we have to think, but outward paths of mind shift have to be designed (to establish collective mind controls over cumulative behaviors). We agreed it is as important as the inward one during first topic, stirring the nest must have helped. However now it seems back to normal:"
At which point he highlighted my comment: "Are WE going to rise to the challenge? Or is it more the case that the process is happening through us, and WE cannot help but rise to the challenge"
And then says: ""Rising to a challenge" means for me active, conscious and collective creation of "outward paths" network, including virtual, depersonalized center. Invited by Chuck to co-host second topic I must have been naïve (realist;-?), thinking we may become pioneers facing the challenge.
Why we may not? Did we back out consciously or not? Did we decide our behaviors are determined? Are our egos or minds responsible? Should we be humble enough to focus on this questions?"
The issue of freewill and determinism is impossible to understand from an egoic perspective because the whole issue hinges upon egoic false identification.
Egos often think that determinism suggests that it is futile to do anything or that we should all just do nothing. This is a grave misunderstanding of the issue.
For instance, I too agree that rising to the challenge means "active, conscious and collective creation" (Pawel) however none of these imply the existence of, or the need for a 'doer' that does them, it is simply that these phenomena happen. When a thought arises the ego believes "I thought that" and when an action occurs the ego believes "I did that". This happens because the ego is unaware that it is a thought process within the mind and it comes to believe that it IS the mind and body. In exactly the same way a regime is a sub-process within a culture but it comes to think that it IS the culture and population. The individual and collective ego's belief in itself as the doer is a major contributing factor to the global systemic crisis. Naïve realism gives rise to delusions of all kinds, including the sense of being the doer.
From the ego's perspective nothing can happen unless it does the doing, whilst from a realistic perspective "events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer of any deed" (Buddha). A society can innovate and evolve without the control of some domineering regime that identifies itself with that society. In fact a free society can create and evolve in ways that seem miraculous to an enslaved society. It is the ego's attempts to interfere in the processes of thinking, acting and so on that disrupts those processes and has led humanity into the crisis that it now faces. If WE are to be part of the solution rather than the problem, then WE cannot use the same kind of delusional thinking and acting that has caused the problem.
If you really want to do some genuinely effective thinking and acting then you should let the thoughts and actions flow naturally from deep within. This is what athletes and musicians mean when the say they are "in the zone", that place where their best performance flows naturally.
That 'zone' is where martial arts masters fight from and why those who are still trying to 'do' the fighting simply don't stand a chance.
Being in that zone is what Daoists call 'wuwei', "A man of highest virtue never acts yet leaves nothing undone. A man of the lowest virtue acts but there are things left undone." (Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching)
When a gnani speaks they speak from the 'zone', that is why their words are a reflection of truth and not delusion.
"Though all actions are done by the constituents of
nature, the ignorant one, deluded by his egoism, regards himself
as the doer.
"He who perceives that all aspects of actions are performed only through prakriti (universal causation) and also that the self is a non-doer, he may be said to have truly perceived." (Bhagavad Gita, chpt 13)
"You are neither the doer nor the reaper of the consequences... Since you have been bitten by the black snake, the opinion about yourself that "I am the doer," drink the antidote of faith in the fact that "I am not the doer"." (Ashtavakra Gita)
This doesn't mean we must "do nothing" or that "nothing can be done", it means we must connect with our inner self and let the doing flow from that source of reality rather than from a tangled knot of delusions and false identifications. Only then will our actions be in harmony with the overall process that we hope to nurture.
If, from that deep source, you feel inspired to express an idea and others feel inspired to accept it then this is in harmony with the natural flow of events. If, from that deep source, you feel inspired to act then your actions will be effective and harmonious with the whole. However if, from a tangled knot of egoic delusion, you express some idea or perform some action then these will at best be futile and at worst be destructive.
It is the sense of doership that causes us to lose touch with the ongoing process of the real. When this happens everything that we touch sickens and dies - look at what modern civilisation has done to the ecosystems for proof of this, also the rates of violent crime, drug consumption, depression, suicide, consumerism, genocide, starvation, war, mass media manipulation, political propaganda, etc in modern society.
If WE are to be effective rather than destructive, WE need to align with the ongoing process of the real, even if that means WE must give up our cherished delusions. Ask yourself, which is better, a cherished delusion that ultimately leads to suffering and destruction, or awareness of reality that ultimately leads to abundant life and ongoing creative existence?
Chuck said in the intro text to this conversation: "to change what we believe the purpose and meaning is, we must descend all the way down the pyramid to reevaluate or rediscover what we believe Reality really is. It is our fundamental perceptions of Reality that determines not only what we think and how we think, but changes the very core of our consciousness. Kern's lecture is way to short. He takes us down to the basement of Reality, than just leaves us there. I want MORE!! I want to know what Kern Beare really means by changing what we perceive Reality is. But more importantly, I would like to know what you believe changing our perceptions of Reality means, and how do we do it."
We have been using the analogy of "the basement" throughout this entire conversation yet there seems to be radically differing opinions regarding what it is, where it is and how it relates to the rest of "the building". Perhaps we should clarify this analogy a little. Here is my attempt...
From an architectural perspective the basement is a part of the foundation, upon which rests the entire structure of the building. If the building's load bearing walls are built upon pillars within the basement that do not connect with the ground (false assumptions), then as the building grows larger the weight will cause it to warp and sag in dangerous ways. To correct this situation it is futile to work only on the upper levels of the building. We must go down to the basement and identify which pillars don't connect with the ground and those that do connect. Then we must re-engineer the ground floor so that the load bearing walls rest upon solid pillars. Then we must work our way up the levels of the building, re-engineering each level so that the load bearing walls rest upon the solid load bearing walls below them. Only then can the building be straightened and its collapse averted.
The basement refers to one's fundamental beliefs about that which is real in ourselves and the world. In philosophy and computer science an ontology is an explicit representation of that which we believe to be real, thus the basement is an unconscious ontology. The analogy of "going down to the basement" means making that unconscious ontology conscious so that we can clarify the false assumptions that are destabilising the entire structure of the mind and leading to dysfunctional participation in life. So what we are attempting here is an ontological analysis and restructuring of our minds, in order to then work on restructuring the collective mind, with the aim of averting the collapse of civilisation.
"Ontology in philosophy is the study of the nature of being, existence or reality in general, as well as of the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology deals with questions concerning what entities exist or can be said to exist, and how such entities can be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences." (ref)
"Ontological analysis clarifies the structure of knowledge. Given a domain, its ontology forms the heart of any system of knowledge representation for that domain. Without ontologies, or the conceptualizations that underlie knowledge, there cannot be a vocabulary for representing knowledge....Second, ontologies enable knowledge sharing." (Chandrasekaran, B. and Jorn R. Josephson, V. Richard Benjamins. 1999. What Are Ontologies, and Why Do We Need Them? IEEE Intelligent Systems. 14 (1): pp. 20 - 26.)
"[A]ll representations are imperfect approximations to reality, each approximation attending to some things and ignoring others, then in selecting any representation, we are in the very same act unavoidably making a set of decisions about how and what to see in the world. That is, selecting a representation means making a set of ontological commitments. The commitments are, in effect, a strong pair of glasses that determine what we can see, bringing some part of the world into sharp focus at the expense of blurring other parts. " (ref)
The point of this conversation is that our "decisions about how and what to see in the world" are based upon a false and unconscious ontology. This is "in effect, a strong pair of glasses that determine what we can see, bringing some part of the world into sharp focus at the expense of blurring other parts". A false ontology causes us to focus on things that do not actually exist and to ignore things that do exist. This disconnection with reality causes us to come into conflict with the ongoing process of the real. By making our ontology conscious and rectifying it we can overcome delusion (persistent false interpretation) and come to experience and know things more accurately. Then we can participate in reality rather than in delusion.
Naïve realism is the primary false assumption (pillar that does not connect with the ground), and it gives rise to a plethora of other false assumptions, in particular the ego and its belief that it is the entire building and everything in it, as well as the doer of every deed. Whilst ever the building rests on naïve realist and egoic pillars there is no hope of preventing its eventual collapse.
Everything that we believe, think, interpret, perceive, feel, expect, plan, etc is "the building" of the mind that rests upon the ontological foundation. Every conscious cognitive event of every kind is woven out of the objects and events that are defined to be real within one's ontology. By changing the ontology one's entire experience of oneself and the world will change. This is the kind of mind-shift that is required to prevent the building from collapsing.
However, IMO in the first half of this conversation we didn't manage to go down to the basement. We got close but as soon as I mentioned the nature of the ego in the post "What I Think in Simple Terms", Chuck's ego commandeered his mind and tried to end the conversation. When that failed it then steered the conversation in a direction away from the basement. Hence this second half of the conversation has been characterised by constant attempts to avoid going near the basement, whilst at the same time maintaining a self-deception that either we've already been there (by Chuck) or that it is not relevant to go there (by Pawel) or that it all just empty talk (by Devi). But the basement cannot be avoided! Any attempt to straighten any level of the building will inevitably bring us back to the issue of the basement, because the cause of the problem lies within the basement - within the unconscious ontology.
My question to the group is: what is the underlying motivation behind the attempts to avoid the basement? Is it because the ego is unwilling to give up its cherished delusions and thereby feels threatened by the truth that the mind will discover in the basement? Are all the excuses that have been given for "moving on" just rationalisations to justify the ego's demand that the basement must be avoided at all costs? To what extent is the mind aware that this is happening and to what extent does it only know that which the ego allows it to know?
I have no desire to force anyone into the basement, but it was you who joined/convened this conversation and that is where it has been headed from the very beginning! No matter what level of the building we wish to talk about, the cause of the problem lies within the basement and until we address those problems the issue will continue to arise.
Regarding “Architecture 101” Chuck said: "This looks to me like a very good start for our meme. It needs a little work and perhaps some input from the rest of the group, but I believe this is a very good foundation to build on!"
I agree that we need good analogies at the core of the meme. The idea of the basement is a useful analogy, and there is also an organic analogy that can be useful. It was hinted at by Thoreau when he said.
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." (Thoreau)
For an explanation of that analogy see What is the "Root of Evil".
I think these two analogies are complimentary because each one adds what the other is lacking...
Natural Healing Processes
Regarding freewill and determinism Pawel asked:
My question: How can we consider ego "attempts" as responsible for systemic crisis, and simultaneously disqualify any attempts to face the consequences and establish control over the system?
Same question, from realistic perspective: There were no individual doers, crisis is "a deed" of reality - isn't it then only our egoistic interpretation of real process, inaccessible to our understanding?
That is a profound question!!!
I will first repeat the question in my own understanding so that we can be sure that we both understand what it is that is being asked.
If reality is as it is and happens as it happens, and the ego is not separate from this, then in what way can it be said that anything is a problem and that the ego is the cause of the problem?
There are many streams of thought that rise up into consciousness in response to this question, I will mention the main streams and then weave them together into an answer...
In the context of these streams, what is the problem and how best to resolve it?
We are part of a vast living process that has been continuously evolving for 4 billion years. It survived perfectly well for billions of years before us and does not need us to control it. In fact, from a narrow egoic perspective we don't have enough information, understanding or power to control it. To what extent can a cell in your body control you?
The problem is that on the whole we cells think that we are the end product of the evolutionary process and we are trying to control it for our own benefit. Thus we are resisting the ongoing process in all manner of ways. It is our delusional ideas about what we are and what the world is that causes us to act in destructive ways. We treat the body of the collective organism as a stage upon which we act out our dramas. From the perspective of the collective organism, when a cell becomes egoic it has become cancerous. The large number of cancerous cells in the collective organism places it at risk and thereby places the entire evolutionary process at risk.
All of this is natural, and it is also natural that the organism's natural healing processes would respond. Cells such as mystics (and to varying degrees those of us in this group) are part of the organism's response to the cancer. These cancer fighting cells tell the cancerous cells that:
The concept of 'WE' is a way of thinking about the natural healing processes of the collective organism. If WE are to be effective we must overcome the egoic (cancerous) state of being and tune into the natural healing processes of the collective organism. It is not up to us to control the healing process, because the problem has arisen because we have been trying to control the process. As soon as WE shift out of an egoic state of being and tune into the greater life, of which we are a part, it can channel its healing energies through us and we can then act in harmony with it.
As 'doers', if WE are to 'do' anything, then we should clear our minds of delusion so that we can become clear channels through which the process can flow, spontaneously, harmoniously and effectively. We are an intimate expression of the process of life and deep within us is a connection to that process. If we think and act from that deep connection then we are part of the solution.
Dangers of the Ego
Pawel said: "Can you be sure? It is single from terrestrial point of view, but isn't it possible there appears many in space-time continuum? Aren't you anthropocentric?"
Yes there is more to it. I just didn't want to complicate the issue that we are addressing, i.e. the survival of the planetary organism...
I suspect that it is only once this evolutionary process culminates in a single global organism that it can develop the capacity to communicate and interact across inter-stellar space with other global organisms. At present the other global organisms (and larger) probably see us as a slime-mould.
Pawel said: "On the other hand cells were egoic and eventually united to form organisms, simple organisms were egoic and eventually united to form complex organisms."
The application of the concept of ego to eucaryotes (the cells of which we are made) is questionable, do they have the complexity to form an ego?
Comparing cancer to egoic cells was an analogy. I'm not sure how far it can be taken. I don't know exactly what makes a eucaryote cell cancerous. However within the context of the organism their behaviour is almost identical to that of an egoic human within the collective organism.Whilst the behaviour of a healthy cell within an organism is almost identical to that of a purely non-egoic human within the collective organism.
Collective integration occurs in spite of egoism, not because of it.Why have all the past civilisations died? It was from the many symptoms of egoic cancer.
Pawel said: "Egoism has cancerous character only if backfires from higher level of complexity."
Egoism always backfires from the perspective of higher levels of complexity. Egoism is the illusion of separation that destroys collective integration.
Pawel said: "Cancer fighting cells did not exist before, are product of complexity growth - such role is attributed to a cell by complex organism genetic code."
Yes and in our case such a role is attributed to a human by the collective organism's memetic code.
Pawel said: "I think social evolution was a smooth, linear continuation of biological evolution, we still continue tribal patterns of hierarchic control of egoistic-ones over egoistic-others."
I agree. However it is only a continuation of the refinement phase covering the last 550 million years since the Cambrian explosion. That phase involved the refinement of individual multicellular organisms, which culminated in ourselves, so egoism is natural and essential to that phase. However now we are reaching a critical point in a transition phase similar to the Cambrian explosion. During a transition phase, such as single cells to multicellular organisms or individual humans to a collective organism, the processes are radically different to those in the refinement phase. Whilst the ego was necessary during the refinement phase it is a serious danger during the transition phase. Collective integration in the presence of egoism leads to growing manipulation, slavery, conflict, fascism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism.
Pawel said: "I can't find any historical moment of qualitative change, when control was consciously established in the system."
I would suggest the evolution of the neocortex within the brain.
Pawel said: "My diagnose of disease is different: cumulative effect within technology permitted us to produce tools to amplify our natural power (by tools I mean hardware and software, therefore institutions included). Using the tools we unconsciously became objects of actions of natural collective egoisms conscious products."
If I have understood you correctly then I agree with this diagnosis too. Through the evolution of civilisation collective organisms have arisen (this is the transition phase of evolution) and due to our egoism we have created collective egos, which now objectify us in the same way we have objectified our bodies. The ego blocks out the suffering it causes in the body just like a regime blocks out the suffering it causes in a society, but if this trend of egoism continues we will find out, and for generations to come humanity will suffer. That is the essence of what the "Gaian-ego Hypothesis" book is about.
I think that we differ because you seem to me to be claiming that ego domination of the organism is natural and therefore healthy in all contexts. I claim that it is natural and inevitable during the refinement phase but dangerous during this transition phase. I also claim that it is never really healthy - it has been the primary cause of suffering both individual and collective throughout human history. If it becomes established in the collective organism we will become trapped and dehumanised within a global totalitarian regime that will most likely go insane and destroy itself. There are far more healthy states of being that an organism can attain.
Pawel said: "Universal vast living process took care however to give us also a tool to establish control, the web"
Who controls the semantic web? Nobody but itself.
I agree that the web is the most powerful single factor in the current situation and it is very timely in its arrival. It gives us the chance to integrate and communicate on a global scale, mind to mind without interference. But if it becomes a mechanism of egoic control then we are all DOOMED.
Pawel said: "and that is what we should do, that is what challenge means for me."
If you succeed in that the "terrestrial organism will probably get squashed, become reject of universal evolution, loose chance to get closer to true reality." (Pawel)
I cannot think of anything more destructive in the current situation than to engineer the web as a mechanism of control !!!!
Below are a few quotes from "Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars: An Introduction Programming Manual" which is believed to be a leaked CIA training manual on the development of the systematic control of civilisation. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant, the point is that it expresses the type of control that would inevitably be exerted if done so in an egoic manner. The full document goes into intricate technical detail, which I have studied and it is technically accurate and feasible.
It is essentially a strategy of "subjective biological warfare... social engineering or the automation of a society, i.e., the engineering of social automation systems (silent weapons) on a national or worldwide scale... implying extensive objectives of social control... Silent weapon technology has evolved from Operations Research (O.R.), a strategic and tactical methodology developed under the Military Management in England during World War II... It was soon recognized by those in positions of power that the same methods might be useful for totally controlling a society... those in positions of power strongly suspected that it was possible for them to control the whole world with the push of a button. Immediately, the Rockefeller Foundation got in on the ground floor by making a four-year grant to Harvard College, funding the Harvard Economic Research Project for the study of the structure of the American Economy.
Its purpose was to discover the science of controlling an economy: at first the American economy, and then the world economy. It was felt that with sufficient mathematical foundation and data, it would be nearly as easy to predict and control the trend of an economy as to predict and control the trajectory of a projectile. Such has proven to be the case. Moreover, the economy has been transformed into a guided missile on target... Already this domestic war has had many victories on many fronts throughout the world...
All science is merely a means to an end. The means is knowledge. The end is control. Beyond this remains only one issue: Who will be the beneficiary?... Although the so-called "moral issues" were raised, in view of the law of natural selection it was agreed that a nation or world of people who will not use their intelligence are no better than animals who do not have intelligence. Such people are beasts of burden and steaks on the table by choice and consent.
the objective of economic research... is the establishment of an economy which is totally predictable and manipulatable. In order to achieve a totally predictable economy, the low-class elements of society must be brought under total control, i.e., must be housebroken, trained, and assigned a yoke and long-term social duties from a very early age, before they have an opportunity to question the propriety of the matter. In order to achieve such conformity, the lower-class family unit must be disintegrated by a process of increasing preoccupation of the parents and the establishment of government-operated day-care centers for the occupationally orphaned children. The quality of education given to the lower class must be of the poorest sort, so that the moat of ignorance isolating the inferior class from the superior class is and remains incomprehensible to the inferior class. With such an initial handicap, even bright lower class individuals have little if any hope of extricating themselves from their assigned lot in life. This form of slavery is essential to maintain some measure of social order, peace, and tranquility for the ruling upper class.
Everything that is expected from an ordinary weapon is expected from a silent weapon by its creators, but only in its own manner of functioning. It shoots situations, instead of bullets; propelled by data processing, instead of chemical reaction (explosion); originating from bits of data, instead of grains of gunpowder; from a computer, instead of a gun; operated by a computer programmer, instead of a marksman; under the orders of a banking magnate, instead of a military general.
The public cannot comprehend this weapon, and therefore cannot believe that they are being attacked and subdued by a weapon. The public might instinctively feel that something is wrong, but that is because of the technical nature of the silent weapon, they cannot express their feeling in a rational way, or handle the problem with intelligence. Therefore, they do not know how to cry for help, and do not know how to associate with others to defend themselves against it.
When a silent weapon is applied gradually, the public adjusts/adapts to its presence and learns to tolerate its encroachment on their lives until the pressure (psychological via economic) becomes too great and they crack up. Therefore, the silent weapon is a type of biological warfare. It attacks the vitality, options, and mobility of the individuals of a society by knowing, understanding, manipulating, and attacking their sources of natural and social energy, and their physical, mental, and emotional strengths and weaknesses...
Then the response of the household to future shocks can be predicted and manipulated, and society becomes a well-regulated animal with its reins under the control of a sophisticated computer-regulated social energy bookkeeping system. Eventually every individual element of the structure comes under computer control...
Since most of the general public will not exercise restraint, there are only two alternatives to reduce the economic inductance of the system. Let the populace bludgeon each other to death in war, which will only result in a total destruction of the living earth. Take control of the world by the use of economic "silent weapons" in a form of "quiet warfare" and reduce the economic inductance of the world to a safe level by a process of benevolent slavery and genocide. The latter option has been taken as the obviously better option. At this point it should be crystal clear to the reader why absolute secrecy about the silent weapons is necessary."
Can you imagine if George Bush, or Hitler, or Stalin, or the Rockerfellers, or the Rothschilds or any of the other ego-maniacs that seize power in this world, had control of a weapon of this kind? Whether you realise it or not, what you are planning is to help them achieve this.
Perspectives, Control and Participation
Pawel said: "John, I was shocked by force of your reaction, your emotion radiated from the screen of my Toshiba."
If I understood you correctly, then what you were proposing would be devastating to the entire global process and I simply described this. The "emotion radiated from the screen" was your own perception, which you mistook for an external event.
Pawel said: "Can you help me to understand why whenever I use the word "control..." everybody, even you, automatically and unconsciously adds "...by somebody" (me???!!!) or "....by regime"?"
Definition of 'control': "To exercise authoritative or dominating influence over." (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/control)
'Control' is the essence and the primary objective of the ego and of regimes. Control is always exerted by some entity on some situation. That entity has its own perspective of what the situation is, which due to the inherent limitations of a single entity's prespective, is inevitably delusional. Within the situation there are countless perspectives but the controller assumes that their perspective is "The Perspective". The controller has its own agenda of how it would like the situation to be, and it overrides all other perspectives and agendas in order to pursue this agenda, which is inevitably destructive.
Pawel said: "Are you really afraid I plan to become global dictator, Hitler raised to third power?"
I don't think you are planning it for yourself, but it seems to me that you are inadvertently planning to build the "seat of power" through which some controlling entity can dominate the entire planet and manipulate it according to its vision of how things should be.
Pawel said: "Why we can imagine only control powered by ego"
Because the ego is a runaway control system and control is its primary fetish. If you create a planetary control system (a seat of absolute power) it will become THE MOST IRRESISTABLE THING to egos (both individual and collective) and they will fight to the death and stop at nothing to gain control of it. Once upon that seat - "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." (Lord Acton).
Pawel said: "while appropriate application can establish depersonalized ego-proof and ego-resistant control by consciousness of shifted minds?"
The phrase "depersonalized ego-proof and ego-resistant control" is a contradiction in terms. Wherever there is control, there is a controller and unless the controller is genuinely and completely enlightened they will inevitably fall for the illusion of power and become an ego or regime of some kind. But if they were enlightened they would realise that there was no need to control anything, they would instead participate.
An ego is just a deluded controller that seeks to manipulate based upon its delusions. Without the delusions there is effective participation in the process. The difference between control and participation is that the participant does not try to manipulate the whole situation according to their perspective, they accept that other participants also have their own perspectives.
Are you aware of the concept of "le differénd"? It describes the oppression that arises (usually inadvertently) when one entity's perspective dominates another entity's perspective. Modern civilisation is infested with le differénds. The term was coined by the postmodern philosopher Lyotard who was seeking "a logical basis for support for epistemological multiplicity, for the positive value of non-totalizing argument." The term "marks[s] the boundaries between discourses that are unbridgeable by the ambitions of a total theory." (ref) A totalizing argument or total theory is a theory defined from a particular perspective and then imposed on the whole situation as if it was "the perspective". This is the essence of totalitarianism and this is what egos and regime do all the time, they cannot help but assume that their perspective is "the perspective" and they impose this on the whole organism or society.
If you were to say "establish depersonalized ego-proof and ego-resistant [participation] by consciousness of shifted minds" Then that is what I am suggesting. We should not set up some point of control that will manipulate the situation according to its perspective. Instead we should set up a free-flow of communication leading to understanding and mutual resonance so that all perspectives can merge and evolve into a geuinely holistic perspective. This is the only way to make things "ego-proof and ego-resistant". If there is a point of control with an authoritative perspective then that is an invitation for the arising of a domineering ego.
Pawel said: "Is your position negotiable? I don't want to enter details otherwise."
If I have understood your position correctly and you are dedicated to seeking 'control' and not 'participation', then there is nothing that could convince me to condone or engage in such a destructive endeavour. However if there has been a misunderstanding due to the words 'control' and 'participation' then I am happy to continue to work towards clarity.
Pawel said: "your link about silent weapons puts focus of political and military aspect of potential manipulation. I think it is much outdated, as traditional states became only one of the financial markets strategic subjects/players."
On the contrary, it is a plan to shift toward global economic control thus making traditional politics and military unnecessary. If you control the metabolism of the collective organism and you can starve it or pump it full of adrenalin or control it in whatever way you like, then there is no need to deceive it (politics) or beat it (military), you simply program it to do your bidding and it cannot help but to comply without even realising that it is being manipulated. That is how the ego within ourselves controls us - we are being programmed and manipulated by an internal controller without even realising this.
Pawel said: "Do you know how the "weapon" is applied to address the customers unconsciousness by leading corporations?"
It plans to keep the consumers ignorant, confused, powerless and unaware. Furthermore the silent weapons strategy conceptualises an entire civilisation as an electronic circuit board, where industries, markets, institutions and so on are modelled in terms of macro-economic flows of energy. It is not interested in controlling particular products or markets, it seeks to control the entire global economy.
Pawel said: "Did you ever look at Gerald Zaltman's book "How Customers Think?", did you study his concept of "mind of the market" and his ZMET (metaphor evaluation techniques) used to design proper manipulation for specific product? "
No I haven't. Is it relevant to this issue? The Silent Weapons approach isn't interested in adapting products to consumers, it is interested in homogenising and domesticating entire societies so that they can be easily controlled.
Pawel said: "We are defenseless objects of manipulation not as citizens, but as consumers/producers - otherwise what you quoted IS NOW our social/terrestrial shape of evolving information."
I agree !!! But we are only defenceless whilst we are unaware.
Pawel said: "If shifted minds don't stop to quarrel which is more shifted, don unite in the web to face egocentric manipulators on the field they consider their property, they (we?) are on the loosers position!"
I agree !!!
But uniting isn't a simple matter of bringing everyone's delusions together and hoping that they will miraculously turn into a memeplex that can save us all. We must discuss and analyse and clarify many things if we are going to be able to unite. If egos interpret such discussions as, quarrelling over who is more shifted, then that is a serious obstacle to the possibility of uniting. Egos become attached to ideas and feel threatened when the ideas are analysed, but in order to unite WE must surrender all attachment to ideas and throw them into the mixing pot, then see which ones survive the test.
Control and Self-Control
Hi Pawel :)
I see that I have misunderstood what you meant by 'control' - thank you for having the persistence to clarify this.
From your recent comments I now see that you are talking about the natural self-organisation within a complex system (self-control). However from your earlier comments it seemed to me that you were talking about something very different. I.e. "establish control over the system" and "tool to establish control, the web" (Pawel).
When you spoke of control as something that we establish and as control over the system I interpreted this as an attempt to interfere in the process based upon our narrow agendas. However well meaning that might be, such a thing would be disastrous. However if you seek to nurture the emergent system's own faculty of self-control then I agree that it is a good thing (the semantic web has already achieved this to a large extent) - however I wouldn't express it using words such as "establish control over the system" (Pawel).
Pawel asked: "Why do you quote only one meaning of control"
Because that meaning is the most common when speaking about "establishing control over", and the other meanings from that dictionary are just subtly different ways of saying the same thing. They all boil down to the issue of perspectives. I.e. "To adjust to a requirement", but from what perspective is the requirement defined; or "To hold in restraint", but from what perspective is the desired restraint defined; or "Authority or ability to manage or direct", but from what perspective is direction given?
If the perspective is that of the emergent system itself then that is beyond our control, just as a cell cannot control you. We can help the emergent system to gain self-control but we shouldn't try to control it.
I will have to keep in mind your use of the term 'control', which keeps sounding in my mind like you are talking about the destructive form of control. For instance:
Pawel said: "It is still possible to establish collective control over information flow, to filter the destructive, dangerous delusions."
I now interpret this as establishing coherent, realistic information flow. But your use of the term 'control' brings to my mind the idea of trusted computing. I would find it much clearer if you spoke about encouraging coherence rather than controlling the flow of information, because who decides what is destructive and dangerous? If we each decide for ourselves then where is the control? Ultimately, the aim isn't control but coherence and that is brought about by providing information that leads to understanding.
An example of an attempt to control the flow of information is trusted computing. Every modern microprocessor is fitted with a 'trusted' module that can monitor what you do, report on your activities, delete files that are blacklisted, disable the computer at the command of the authorities and so on. If you write something that the authorities decide is dangerous, even if millions of copies spread throughout the web, once it is blacklisted every computer with a trusted module will automatically delete it and report the computer owner to the authorities.
"The fundamental issue is that whoever controls the TC infrastructure will acquire a huge amount of power... There are many ways in which this power could be abused... The potential for abuse extends far beyond commercial bullying and economic warfare into political censorship... A dictator's secret police could punish the author of a dissident leaflet by deleting everything she ever created using that system - her new book, her tax return, even her kids' birthday cards - wherever it had ended up." (ref)
The word control can be very misleading if what you are really speaking about is self-organising self-control. Perhaps this is "why whenever [you] use the word "control..." everybody, even [me], automatically and unconsciously adds "...by somebody" or "....by regime"?" (Pawel)
Now that I understand you I can see what you are saying, but for others that you come across it might help them if you are clearer in your use of the word 'control'. Whilst it does have the meaning that you associate it with it also has a more common meaning that can cause confusion for people, especially when you talk about "establishing control over".
Glisten said: "The I that I think I am has been very 'busy'... I can continue to believe that the 'work' I am doing is the most important use of my time and resources or; I can stop right here and now, and take a good hard look at myself... This is no easy task, and the I that I think I am is reluctant to the point of rebellious about the idea that I should do such a thing... looked at impartially it is almost comical that I have indulged in such denial... It seems that I have the ego squarely in my sights... do I hide in my 'work' and tell myself that all this "ego-bashing" is a pointless waste of 'my' precious time; or do I face the issue head on, and let go of all the other seemingly important issues until this one is resolved?.. If I am brutally honest with myself I can see that there is no option but to face the challenge and do the work of truly overcoming the tyranny of my ego..."
On behalf of the whole, thank you Glisten for being honest with yourself :)
I know that for some time you have been working on the project of mapping the meme-sphere and creating a context in which to bring together the pioneers of the emerging memeplex. It is a very worthy project, however I was wondering about your sudden, passionate involvement in it to the exclusion of participating in this conversation.
Your ego has been subtle in its avoidance strategy, using a combination of altruism, repression and sublimation, which in layman's terms means; to bury oneself in ones service to the whole in order to avoid facing ideas that are threatening to the ego (see Ego Defence Mechanisms).
The example that you have provided the group touches upon a very profound issue!
Why is it that some minds are prone to egoic delusion whilst others are not?
Why is it that some societies are prone to tyranny whilst others are not?
If in the midst of egoic delusion or tyranny, how can a mind or culture "wake up to itself"?
How can the collective mind (global culture) develop a resistance to outbreaks of tyranny?
The short answer to all of these questions is awareness!
Awareness is the deep connection to reality that dwells at the root of the mind, it is the ground upon which the basement and the entire building rests.
In a society, that which I call "the regime" is actually a memeplex or ruling idea that permeates the entire culture. When it seizes control the government is corrupted, the military-industrial complex gears up for action, the various think tanks start pumping out all kinds of rationalisations and propaganda, the compliant mass-media spreads these far and wide, the masses absorb them and only a minority of free-thinkers realise that the nation has gone insane.
It is the free-thinkers who are the spark of awareness within the collective mind. If that spark grows and reaches critical mass, forming an interconnected web of awareness that permeates all levels of the culture then the culture would be resistant to tyranny. As soon as the nonsense starts it would be recognised and would not spread.
An analogous thing happens when the ego (which is actually a memeplex that permeates the mind) seizes control. In most cases the will is corrupted, the fight-or-flight complex gears up for action, the intellect starts pumping out all kinds of rationalisations and propaganda, the stream of psycho-babble spreads these far and wide, the rest of the mind absorbs them and only a small spark of awareness realises that the mind has gone insane.
If awareness grows to critical mass, forming a web of awareness that permeates all levels of the mind then the mind is resistant to egoic delusion. As soon as the nonsense starts it is recognised and cannot spread.
Glisten has spent many years in regular meditation, jappa (mantra), gnana (self-enquiry) and other "spiritual practices" that have been specifically developed over aeons to create and establish just such a web of awareness throughout the mind. This is why her mind was able to catch her ego in the act and say, "I see what is happening and I will not be swept along by it."
Pawel too has managed to stay with conversation because he has a very strong rational intellect that is grounded in an understanding of the information theoretic nature of reality. A strong intellect, if ungrounded can be a liability because it creates very plausible rationalisations, but if grounded it can maintain a stream of clear focused awareness, that can unravel the egoic delusions.
Delusions cannot persist in the presence of awareness, just as shadows cannot persist in the presence of light. Delusions have no real power other than the power that the mind inadvertently gives them through lack of awareness. So too regimes have no real power other than the power that the culture inadvertently gives them through lack of awareness.
Meditation, jappa, gnana etc are very effective in an individual mind, but what about the collective mind?
Collective meditation for the collective mind?
This is a quote from an unpublished article...
The ultimate goal of meditation is to overcome naïve realism and egoic delusion. It involves allowing thoughts to arise in the mind whilst not becoming attached to them or identifying with them. The collective parallel would be to stop taking collective opinions as obvious truths and start questioning them. Just because some new fad arises doesn't mean you have to follow it. Be aware of it and see into it. If it is good then participate, but do so with awareness. When this attitude spreads and becomes entrenched the regime cannot wield its manipulative lies any more because people will have seen through the web of lies and the lies will only become further proof of the regime's bankruptcy and will give insight into its psyche and strategy. It will become an "emperor with no clothes".
The essence of meditation is to turn the mind on itself with sincere and open awareness and the collective analogue of this would be to turn the culture on itself in a process of sincere and open discourse on the true nature of the culture. True self awareness relies on true scepticism, which is open minded enquiry taking nothing as obvious fact until clear and compelling understanding arises of its own accord.
In meditation one should avoid all identification with habitual thoughts, desires and aversions and the collective parallel would be to avoid patriotic discourses, propaganda, catch-phrases, cliches, cynical denial tactics and all manner of conditioned stimuli that condition our thought processes. One should return to basics; expressing things directly rather than through catch-phrases and propagandist euphemisms. Even if it is cumbersome at first it can soon be refined and will evolve into a clearer and more effective discourse. But keep it connected with common language so that it doesn't use too much alien jargon that would serve as an impediment against people joining in; it needs to spread.
Undertaking these simple 'spiritual' practices will help unravel the entrenched systemic confusion and allow a coherent discourse to arise, thereby allowing wisdom to flow through the culture rather than self-deceptive propaganda. These 'meditative' practices are simple but they are powerful; they can result in a state described as 'stillness', which in a society would manifest as an absence of agitated fear mongering, manic distraction seeking and manipulative media. This creates a space free of conditioning in which creative genius can arise and inspiration can flow, thereby channelling our hidden potential into the world.
When this stillness spreads the culture is thereby returned to itself and becomes an expression of the life-forces of the people. Wisdom spreads leading to deepening awareness, resulting in true understanding and harmony, which mystics call 'enlightenment'. When the society is not driven by delusion it can engage coherently with reality and cooperate in intricately creative and organic ways giving rise to a creative flourishing in which things can happen that are unimaginable to confused egoic regimes. These are what mystics call ‘miracles'; they are not 'supernatural', they are in fact the natural flowering of a healthy living being.
No Puffing Intended
Pawel said: "John, don't puff up my ego!"
I am sorry if that happened, I had no intention of doing that.
I am not used to discussing these subjects with ego-dominated minds. I will try to be more careful in the future.
What I said was actually threatening to your ego, but due to your ego's false identification with the mind it misunderstood the statement.
The fact is that a strong intellect is an excellent asset if it is grounded and a dangerous liability if it is not.
For example, imagine some society oppressed by a regime. If the academic institutions and think tanks are strong and connected to reliable knowledge then they have the potential to help de-throne the regime. Although, if they are entirely focused 'outward' towards studying "the problem" or "the enemy" as it is defined within the regime's corrupt discourse then they are a serious liability to the society. However if they turn their focus 'inward' upon the culture, the regime and the corrupt discourse, then they can help to unravel the web of deception and thereby liberate the culture.
Whilst the regime claims that one must overcome the problem / enemy to attain peace, in actual fact one must de-throne the regime to attain lasting peace. Unless one does this the regime will continue to incite or concoct more problems / enemies.
Pawel said: "If I can be the proof to you, that inward meditative path is not the only one leading to awareness"
There are many paths other than meditation but ALL of them lead inward in order to effectively go outward. The analogy just used sheds further light on why this is the case. By avoiding the inward focus one is thinking and acting through the lens of a corrupt discourse that distorts everything.
Pawel said: "help me at least to design the virtual web ground for strong intellects to open them a chance of being grounded together, to feel secure and create synergy."
I believe that this is already happening. Just like raising seedlings we can nurture the process but it doesn't need anyone to design it. Like all organic phenomena it is autopoetic, which means that it designs and creates itself via the co-creative interactions of the many parts. It takes input from many perspectives to grow. There are many ways to participate, by creating new types of forums, new conceptual languages, new analogies, new ontologies, new semantic web applications, and so on. This will all contribute to the process, but exactly how the process uses them is beyond our control.
In what way do you envisage yourself participating in the process? What do you have to share with it? Perhaps I may be able to help you with that, depending on what it is.
Emergence of Self-Control
Pawel said: "our (human) conceptual interface is pervaded by ego-centric viewpoint in any language, important concepts should be redefined before use in support of broader perspective. Do you agree?"
YES !!! This is one of the greatest obstacles to any paradigm shift. The very meanings of words change but to begin with most people interpret them from within the old paradigm. I think a glossary of redefined terms could be a very useful part of our project. I have made a couple of brief glossaries in the past (here and here), but many more terms need to be redefined.
Pawel said: "How can you say: "the semantic web has already achieved this [control of emergent system] to a large extent"?"
The semantic web hasn't achieved control of the emergent system, instead it has facilitated the web's capacity for self-control. This capacity has yet to mature, but in time it can do so. The semantic web effectively gives the web a cognitive feedback loop, where it can interpret and perceive information intelligently using ontologies (looking through the lens) and that which it perceives can be encoded in ontologies (modifying the lens).
Pawel said: "The web itself is only small part of informational analogy, and as long as information is carried by flawed semantics no coherent control can be achieved"
I would generally think of the web in the context of the organismic analogy. It is like a growing nervous system that permeates the global organism. It is a small part of the collective body but it can wield significant influence. At present the web is mostly a passive communication medium, however as the semantic web matures it will become a dynamic participant in its own right. The quality of its influence depends primarily on the ontologies that inform it. These are its initial cognitive lens (its basement). At present the ontologies are very naïve realist, materialist and geared toward pursuing corporate and authoritarian agendas or conducting empiricist scientific collaboration. But if there are ontologies that represent a realistic and holistic viewpoint then these would have significant semantic influence and the web would eventually become an embodiment of true wisdom.
Pawel said: "it is my small obsession: I am afraid of control by AI"
I can understand this... but I would prefer a system that was guided by a distributed open AI that received input from all of us and could draw upon the wealth of our collective intelligence and wisdom, rather than by a BI (biological intelligence) that received input mainly from wealthy power-brokers and could only draw upon a few decades of personal learning and experience.
Pawel said: "How we can help the emergent system to gain self-control, without arousing suspicion we try to control it? "
To avoid misunderstandings it should be made very clear what perspective the control is to be exerted from, i.e. it is not our control over the system, but the system's self-control.
The emergence of self-control within complex systems is a self-organising emergent phenomena. It is distributed throughout the entire system and we would have great difficulty stopping it if that is what we wanted. IMO the important factor is the level of awareness that the emergent system is developing. If it gains self-control with a very narrow and conditioned level of awareness it could be disastrous, but if it could benefit from our highest levels of awareness, and be informed by true wisdom then its growing self-control would cause harmony to spread throughout the civilisation. The fact that a collective organism is evolving in our midst is beyond our control, but whether it evolves into a confused and sick organism or a wise and healthy organism can still be influenced by the type of memes that we communicate between ourselves.
Pawel said: "Can "help the system to gain self-control" stand for the answer to title question of current discussion?"
Or perhaps "help the emerging collective system to gain self-awareness and self-control"?
By "self-awareness" I don't mean egoic-self-consciousness, but genuine awareness of the Self that is the unshakeable foundation of true wisdom.
As Glisten said in her latest post "Relationship Between we and WE": "it must be 'programmed' with a coherent ontological foundation which accurately describes Reality. In order for we as individual points of consciousness to be able to provide such 'programming' we must have our own coherent ontology of reality at the foundation level of our understanding... we need to be able to connect directly with reality, which is a process of inner exploration. Only once we have this connection established and are able to work from our own knowing of the nature of the reality in which we find ourselves will we be able to adequately inform WE in such a way that Reality is the basis of understanding upon which its consciousness develops and coheres."
Human culture is the foundation of the collective mind, and our own minds are the foundation of human culture - so we must get in touch with reality if we hope that the collective mind will be in touch with reality. This involves going down to the basement, turning the lights on and tidying things up. The semantic web provides the opportunity to express coherent ontologies so that they inform and guide the development of the collective mind, but first we need to nurture coherent ontologies within ourselves before we are able to express them.
Wael said: “I think changing the ontology is a scientific approach and not natural intuitive”
We could call it a “mind-shift”, or “getting real”, or “self-awareness”, “end of delusion”, or a “spiritual awakening”, or many other things. These are all just different ways of saying the same thing. Whatever language we use to describe the substance water, whether 'water', 'pani', 'aqua' or so on, only the words are different but the substance is the same.
Wael said: “rather than searching the basement, go down to first-floor and start co-creation a new building”
If you simply build a new building on the same faulty foundation you would only end up with the same kinds of problems all over again. Why would you take such a risk? Why go to such drastic lengths in order to avoid the basement? What is so bad about the basement?
Wael said: “I really do not believe there is an ultimate basement for the ultimate building in this time being.”
I agree that there is no ultimate basement or building. Each of our minds has its own basement and each of our minds is it own building, likewise with each civilisation. The point is not to build some ultimate building but to do what is needed to prevent the current building from collapsing.
Wael said: “This way we replace the efforts of the digging the basement”
We are not talking about digging a new basement, but simply stepping into the one that is already there. All you have to do is step inside, the only effort involved is to overcome your fear and your rationalisations for why you don't need to step in there.
Memes and Analogies
Devi said: "if we hope to create a meme that can be understood by masses, and especially those who are not technically inclined, the language has to be brought to a more basic level."
I agree, but as I discussed earlier, we first need to understand what that meme actually is before we can start to express it in simplified form. If we work only with clichés and slogans we are in danger of not only deceiving ourselves but everyone else as well. Regardless of our intentions we would then only be causing harm. "Goodness without wisdom invariably accomplishes evil." (Robert Heinlein) I think this is part of what Glisten meant when she spoke of "being thorough".
Devi said: "I do find it interesting, but have to admit that I can not communicate at the same level... I guess what I am saying here is that it is time for me to move on."
The level that you have been communicating at has been very helpful to this conversation and if you wish to have a go at bringing things to a more basic level then by all means do so, that is a vital part of the process. Just because some of us discuss thing using a particular conceptual language doesn't mean that you need to. However if you wish to move on, then thank you for your input and I wish you well.
Devi said: "As for the acurate analogy, this is subjective to the group and to the individual perspectives."
Yes, that is the power of analogies. There are many possible analogies and some are more suitable to some minds than others. You have found the analogies used in advaita vedanta to be useful to you, whilst to others they are incomprehensible. Each analogy takes concepts that are familiar to the listener and weaves them together to express that which is not familiar. Not everyone is familiar with the same things. Hence we need a range of different analogies because there is no perfect analogy for everyone. We discussed the advaitan approach in detail earlier but it was incomprehensible to Pawel and lately we have been discussing analogies that are comprehensible to him. We are still talking about exactly the same things, but only using different analogies.
Devi said: "Accurate using what as the reference point?"
The reference point for any analogy is that to which it points, if the analogy helps you to become aware of that to which it points then it was accurate for you. To use a Daoist analogy for analogies, an analogy is just a finger pointing at the moon. However, many people become attached to a particular finger and they claim that it is "The Finger" or even “The Moon”, but that is just a form of spiritual fascism. There is only one moon, whilst there are countless fingers pointing at it.
You have found that advaita vedanta helped to point you toward your true self, whilst for others it is of no use to them because for whatever reason their mind is closed to that approach. Some find the information analogies or organismic analogies or quantum analogies useful, whilst to others they are of no use because for whatever reason their minds are closed to those approaches. If we are to get through to many people we must respect and accommodate their different perspectives, and use as many different analogies as possible, whilst being clear within ourselves that they are actually pointing to something real.
Words are the tools, awareness is the goal
Welcome Ariel :)
Ariel said: "By the way, if we use the building analogy and talk about the basement, that is a construct for our awareness of our sexuality in dream interpretation"
This is not what we are talking about when we speak of "the basement". In the context of this conversation we have been using the analogy of the basement to refer to the deepest, unconscious beliefs upon which everything else that we think, know, perceive, experience, feel, expect, desire, fear, etc rests upon. Individually the basement represents the foundation of an entire mind and collectively it represents the foundation of an entire culture. The analogy of "going down to the basement" represents questioning, analysing, becoming aware of and generally shedding light upon the core unconscious beliefs that cause us to experience and know ourselves and the world in the way that we do.
In the basement there are many false beliefs, the primary one is naïve realism , which gives rise to ego, as well as the idea of an external material world, and a vast plethora of other illusions that are unconsciously accepted as being real. Whilst ever the mind rests upon a foundation of false beliefs we are blind to the light of reality. By shedding the light of awareness on those false beliefs they dissolve and we shift closer to reality.
Ariel said: "And perhaps there is a counterintuitive approach to creating a mindshift that has nothing to do with buildings! So, poof! The building is gone."
The mind-shift has to do with seeing ourselves and the world from a broader perspective, one that can bring us closer to reality. Whilst analogies are useful to direct awareness away from its habitual ways of seeing things and towards a different perspective, the mind-shift has nothing to do with any particular analogy. So, poof! They are all gone. But nevertheless different analogies are useful for different minds. The aim is deeper awareness so anything that encourages that is useful.
Ariel said: "Instead we're talking about a pool of light that gives us an allegory for the growing wisdom and field of love that people are continually dipping in and out of."
The analogy of the pool of light would be very useful to some minds, thank you for sharing it with us. However we are not seeking to replace one analogy with another in order to find "The Analogy". There are many useful analogies and each is useful to different people, so long as they point them towards deeper awareness, greater harmony and less destructive ways of being.
We are not working on the surface trying to find a particular expression that might resonate with some particular group of people. We are trying to shed light on our deepest most unquestioned beliefs, in order to shift our minds toward a deeper and genuinely realistic understanding (which cannot be expressed in any words). To do this we have used many different perspectives, ranging from Advaita Vedanta, Daoism, Buddhism, personal subjective experience, quantum physics, system theory, information theory, computer science, philosophy, psychology, biology, sociology, etc, etc...
This is all taken in and intuitively 'digested' and assimilated into a holistic understanding. Then from the wordless understanding many words and analogies can be spoken, each spoken from a different perspective and useful for different minds. Each expression can shed light into a different demographic of civilisation. Each expression 'points' in the direction of the deeper understanding but none of them 'represent' it.
I hope that clarifies what we are trying to achieve here.
I agree that the computational / information analogies are the best. As I said before in "Evolving Analogies":
Today we have cyberspace and virtual reality as an analogy, which is both dynamic and interactive. Especially virtual reality:
Thus the information / computation analogy can potentially have profound and far reaching effect throughout the core of modern civilisation. Not only is modern science discovering it for itself, but it connects seamlessly with the ageless wisdom. It is by far the most accurate, compelling and broadly accessible analogy yet encountered.
Especially since the younger generations are growing up with computers and many spend nearly as much time in virtual reality as they do in physical reality. To them it is a natural and intuitive analogy. But I still think we need numerous analogies, because for many people the computational analogies are unfamiliar.
What is this conversation for?
Pawel said: "Therefore my initial question in this discussion remains not answered. During 5 weeks I agreed with almost everything you said. When you said outward action (creation of collective) must run parallel to inward one I hoped it is answered and we can move on. Now you both focus again exclusively on inward."
I have explained numerous times in different ways, why it is that in order to effectively go outward one must first go inward. Of course WE can all just go outward but it won't be effective because there would be no understanding of what the problem or the solution is and WE would just be chasing after fantasies.
Pawel said: "According to Ken Wilber 0,1% of population can potentially experience Reality. Remembering ancient prophets like Buddha or Jesus it seems there is no change of this proportion through history."
0.1% of 7 billion = 7 million, which is quite a lot, although I think the actual number is much higher.
I have never suggested that everyone needs to go within, but that enough of us do and that those who don't should have the sense to listen to those who do. If WE, the agents of change, are to be effective there needs to be a significant number of people who have gone down to their basement and connected with reality, otherwise WE are ungrounded and floating adrift in fantasy.
There needs to be communication between the grounded and ungrounded participants of WE, but there also needs to be communication between the grounded and those who wish to become more grounded. If this is missing then WE cannot become more grounded and more effective.
Pawel said: "I think "realization of Reality" is not a binary state, everybody active upon "analogies" like love, beauty, Oneness, interconnection, the Whole, Gaia... and many similar is following the intuition of Reality, is already on the path of realization. I consider myself as kind of spokesmen of ones like Wael - intuited, highly motivated but having no opportunity and time to do the intellectual work... Why you can not help us to create collective analogy, meeting point to wider and common road to deeper realization of reality?"
This conversation was supposed to be for those who wish to go down to the basement and become more grounded and more effective. There are millions of ungrounded conversations throughout the world and much advice from the grounded to the ungrounded but it is extremely rare to find a space in which the grounded and those who wish to become more grounded can get together and support each other.
I recognise what you and Wael are trying to do and I applaud it - but I have avoided getting sidetracked by it because it is off-topic. If you have no interest in getting more grounded yourself and you are only interested in outward action then this conversation is unsuitable for you. We are here to help each other get more grounded in reality so that once we have gone inward we can then be effective when we go outward.
I am happy to discuss ways of going outward but not in this conversation. In order to stay on topic I will simply keep reminding such people that in order to effectively go outward we must first go inward.
To put it another way, one cannot create effective analogies unless one understands what those analogies are pointing to. One cannot point at the moon unless one can see the moon.
What have we achieved so far?
Looking back over the ground that we have covered in the past 5 ½ weeks, what have we achieved?
But we have yet to find a way to collectively converge on the topic.
This doesn't mean that this has been a waste of time. What we have done is the groundwork, which may serve as a useful foundation for future conversations on this topic.
If any co-creation was to arise from this conversation I would suggest that it should bring together the above points and consolidate them so as to clearly express what the topic is, why it is useful to address the topic, why the many reasons for avoiding the topic are not compelling and what kind of realisations lie waiting for those who eventually address the topic. This would serve as a useful starting point for future conversations.
Regarding those who wish to diverge into completely different topics related to addressing particular perceived problems in the world, this too can be done but these are separate projects.
Answers to Pawel's Questions
These questions provide yet another opportunity to clarify what this conversation is about and why it is useful to address this issue.
Pawel asked: "Am I grounded enough?"
Grounded enough for what? It is for you to decide this.
The issue that is relevant to this conversation is whether WE are grounded enough to effectively participate in the unfolding stream of events. On the whole there is strong evidence to suggest that WE are not grounded enough, because there is too much fantasy and confusion, with people rushing off on fools errands and not listening to the voice of wisdom. Hence exercises such as this conversation are necessary to help the collective to get more grounded.
There are two main ways of effectively participating in this sort of exercise. If you feel that you are grounded enough then you could help others get more grounded. If you feel that you are not grounded enough then you could work on getting more grounded. These are not binary options, for example, I fit somewhere between the two thus think I could help some whilst also receiving help myself.
Pawel asked: "How much further do I have to go inward?"
That depends on what your role (or combination of roles) is in the unfolding stream of events; not what you imagine it to be but what it actually turns out to be. If you are one who discerns the vision and guides others then you must overcome all delusions that cause you to misperceive the vision and misguide others. If you are one who is guided by the vision and applies it to a particular issue, then you must overcome all delusions that cause you to misunderstand or resist the guidance or to misapply it. If you are part of the general masses who are not consciously involved then it would be useful to overcome enough delusions so that you are not overcome by fear and you are open to change as it happens.
Pawel asked: "Why do you think inward and outward should be parallel in collective action but is either/or in individual? Can't we (e.g. me, Wael) develop inward in (outward) action (interaction)?"
All along I have said that the inward and outward paths are false distinctions that are a misunderstanding of the actual situation. There is only one actual path.
The inward and outward aspects of the path are related to the cognitive feedback loop. The inward aspect involves clarifying the cognitive lens, whilst the outward aspect involves looking through the cognitive lens and imagining that the objects of perception exist "out there". If the lens is warped then one is looking at a warped view and responding to things that don't exist. For example...
Imagine that someone is riding a motorbike and mud splashes onto the visor of their helmet creating dark spots. If they interpret this in a naïve realist manner it would seem that there are huge boulders floating in space in front of them. This sounds absurd but people do analogous things all the time because they are unaware that their world-experience is a construct of the mind, and they assume that they are experiencing the world "as it is". In this situation the inward approach would be to wipe the mud from the visor or at least recognise that it is just mud and look past it. The outward approach would be to start weaving about on the road trying to avoid the boulders.
Thus I recommend that one recognises or wipes away the mud then continues riding normally, however a common response to this is "Are you crazy? How impractical! I'm too busy avoiding boulders to worry about a few specks of mud!". One must first go inward in order to effectively go outward, otherwise one is just responding to fantasies and behaving in a dangerous manner. But this is just one cycle of the feedback loop, which is constantly cycling from inward to outward.
I am not suggesting that the rider must stop the bike and spend years polishing their visor before they can continue the ride, what I suggest is that they do what is necessary to keep riding normally rather than weaving about trying to avoid imaginary boulders. In this sense the two aspects are intertwined. However at the same time going inward precedes effectively going outward because no amount of avoiding boulders will remove the specks of mud, but a quick wipe or a moment of awareness will remove the illusion of the boulders.
Pawel said: ""One cannot point at the moon unless one can see the moon". Why, if we are collective? Suppose I see the moonlight coming through the window, and apply the knowledge of others who saw it?"
Yes, as a collective we can and that is what has been proposed in this conversation. But you seem to not understand the purpose of this conversation. We are not here to just take our dubious understanding of the words of someone who can see the moon and spread them, we are here to help each other see the moon. If you read the intro text to the conversation and the numerous clarifications throughout the conversation you will see that this is what this conversation is about. For example...
From the intro text: "we must descend all the way down the pyramid to reevaluate or rediscover what we believe Reality really is. It is our fundamental perceptions of Reality that determines not only what we think and how we think, but changes the very core of our consciousness. Kern's lecture is way to short. He takes us down to the basement of Reality, than just leaves us there. I want MORE!! I want to know what Kern Beare really means by changing what we perceive Reality is. But more importantly, I would like to know what you believe changing our perceptions of Reality means, and how do we do it."
From "Clarifying what this discussion is about": "We are here to discuss: What does it mean to overcome delusion and connect with reality (whatever it may be), and how we go about doing that? What changes are required in the way we think and how do we go about changing?"
However you say "I did not enter the discussion to get closer to Reality". If you have no interest in doing this or helping others do this then why did you join this conversation? Please answer me this, what is your understanding of the purpose of this conversation?
Pawel said: ""Direct connection with reality" or even "with source of reality itself": Why I feel suspicious when I read it? "the Buddha would speak only of the spiritual experience, not of the metaphysical entity presumed by the theologians". Do you reach further then him? Isn't it your spiritual egotism? Or is it my ego self-defence making me ask the questions?"
Spiritual experience IS direct connection with reality!
Perhaps you are misunderstanding this due to a memory association like Chuck had earlier, i.e. by assuming that X is real, when someone says "Direct connection with reality" you think they are saying "Direct connection with X". But that is not what I and Glisten are saying. We are saying "Direct connection with that which actually exists (whatever it may be) not just that which seems to exist when perceived through a warped cognitive lens.". The whole aim of Buddha's teachings and practices is to clarify the cognitive lens so that we can achieve direct connection with reality.
"the Buddha would speak only of the spiritual experience, not of the metaphysical entity presumed by the theologians" because the metaphysical entity cannot be defined in words, but only directly experienced through a clear mind. Hence clarifying the mind is the process of forming a direct connection with reality.
Pawel said: ""...reliable source of wisdom and guidance within ourselves.". I am humble enough not to count on reaching it."
But earlier in the same post you contradict this by saying "I take care of my health and fitness using instinctive nutrition... When I learned to follow instincts, I recognized intuitions... On the other hand my mind is dominated by rational logic, I had to reset it to include intuitions in my consciousness. My intuition leads me... My intuition and my logic align."
But you seem to have a different understanding of 'instinct', for instance you say "instincts are part of my ego". It is quite likely that your ego identifies with them, just as it identifies with the mind, the body and objects and memes that it calls 'mine'. But none of these things are actually part of the ego. The only things that are part of the ego is the ideas 'I', 'me' and 'mine'. From these it weaves delusions throughout the mind and identifies with whatever it can in order to grow and dominate the organism and its environment.
Pawel said: "Point of convergence (collective self-awareness-control) should become point of reference and control over every individual action in common space. You do not agree?"
The collective cannot become self-aware unless a critical mass of ourselves become self-aware. Self-awareness and connection to the reliable source of wisdom and guidance within ourselves is the reference point. Otherwise the entire civilisation is ungrounded and adrift in a turbulent sea of delusion. The collective may have delusions about what it thinks is itself, but this is fascism not self-awareness.
'we' or 'WE'
Your persistence has been very helpful in forcing Glisten and I to express essentially the same things in many different ways, I am sorry that you have not yet understood what we were trying to say. From some perspectives it is obvious but from others it is very subtle to grasp.
I would suggest that you find time in your life for a little meditation, or some form of non-thinking non-activity, e.g. I often use breath awareness or pulse awareness or mantra. Even just 30min every couple of days would benefit everything else in your life. And you may find that the understanding that we were trying to share with you will arise of its own accord from your own intuition.
Use the potential of Global Mind's technological interface to:
It is my meaning of change in the way WE think. I hope this time I do not surprise you, it goes well with the conversation content.
I was talking about "changing how we think" whilst you were talking about "changing how WE think". This might be why we often misunderstood each other. They are very different subjects, however one follows the other. First we need to change how we think and only then can we change how WE think. Otherwise we are just changing WE to a different variation of the same old way of thinking, which has been going on for thousands of years without solving the problem.
Whilst 'we' ourselves are present here and now, 'WE' is an abstract idea within our minds. Let's assume for the sake of argument that we took your approach and we avoided this opportunity to find out how 'we' ourselves can change our minds, and instead focused on changing the minds of some abstract group of others.
Let's say we implemented your plan and throughout the wider community groups start coming together. But what are they going to do? So far we've all been focused on changing the minds of some abstract group of others. We've been busy trying to change how WE think but we have no idea how to change how we think. Ultimately it comes down to groups like ourselves who change their own minds themselves and not just think about changing the minds of some abstract others.
If no groups change their own thinking, then no change in thinking occurs throughout the whole of WE; it would just be a passing fad. Hence the vital thing to know is how can a group of present individual minds change how they themselves think. Once that is known, only then are we ready to consider how this process can be useful to WE as a whole.
Hence I said "First we need to change how we think and only then can we change how WE think."
Thank you Chuck for convening this conversation !!!!
Thank you all for a wonderful conversation. I initially had doubts that we as a group would get very far and although many in the group chose not to participate fully, those who did have covered a lot of ground. We didn't get to implement what we discussed, but that takes time. Perhaps a few seeds have been sown in our minds.
All in all, this has been one of the most fruitful conversations on this topic that I have yet to encounter.
Congratulations to us all :)
I wish you all the best in times to come!
About the Author
Who this personality thinks it is is not important, but most of us still have strong personalities dominating our minds to varying degrees. A personality dominated mind, is often more able to pay attention if they know something about the other person. So for the benefit of such 'people' I will explain myself by relating some relevant stories from the memories of the person that calls itself John Ringland.
From my late teens I was fascinated by the occult and for many years led the life of a disciple of High Magic (personal alchemy). I learnt much about Kabbalah, hermeticism, western mysticism, Golden Dawn, Order of the Rosy Cross, John Dee, Alister Crowley, etc. I lived purely and I diligently maintained an ongoing process of ritual practices and training in inner mastery.
Through this process the inspiration arose to "descend into the swamp of modern society wherein lay a jewel of immeasurable worth, which lay unnoticed". This inspiration translated into actions in the form of starting university and studying physics and computer science. I was a totally focused and diligent student with a high distinction average. I didn't care about results, I was just fascinated by the subject matter and gave it my full attention, especially mathematics, system theory and quantum theory. Since then I have maintained ongoing self-tuition on many subjects.
In 2000 I had a world-changing and self-changing epiphany, and could no longer see the world or myself through the paradigm of objects in time and space. Everything is interconnected and dynamically unfolding as part of a single unified living system. Over many years this has totally and utterly restructured my mind. The jewel of immeasurable worth that I had found in the swamp had opened my mind to a deeper vision of reality. I could intuit its mathematical form and I began to spontaneously express what intuited using pure mathematics as well as words and metaphors.
After receiving the degree I continued with two more years academically as well as working at times as a software engineer and systems analyst, but I came to realise that there was an entrenched naive realist dogma that I was expected to conform to, both in academia and in the world at large. Even when I tried I just could not bow down to delusion - a deep instinct within me would rather die than do that.
So I left academia, the work place and the world at large, and threw myself upon the mercy of the universe. Now "I was a cup being filled at the fountain of eternal knowledge". I realised that the universe isn't just some stage upon which I act out my dramas, it is alive and sentient. Nothing is more nor less alive than anything else and the universe will guide and teach us if only we stop struggling with it.
At this time the universe swung into harmonious motion around and within me - it became my teacher (sadguru). From subtle realisations, synchronistic events, chance meetings, books or subtle messages coming my way at just the right moment things went into a fluid state of change. Many works of the sages have influenced me. Now that I had the eyes to see, everywhere I turned there was profound wisdom. The mind flowed deeply into Advaita Vedanta, Taoism, Kabbalah, Buddhism, Sufism and Mystic Christianity. All of these "tasted good" and resonated deeply with my inner knowing. From this I clarified that knowing and learnt how to better express it to unawakened minds.
After leaving university and work I was homeless, living in a tent, and blissfully doing yoga asanas and absorbing the Upanishads. Within two years I had travelled about 5000 km's and was living on 50 acres of lush fields, hilltops and rain-forested gullys. The most precious gifts were the subtle realisations of the nature of the Self.
I spent four years living on that land, most of the time in solitude, going deep into many aspects of yoga, living purely, maintaining satya (truthfulness of thought, word and deed) and focusing deeply into the intuitive mind. Building states of clarity over days, weeks and months without distraction. Allowing the intellectual mind to open up to and receive the wisdom of the intuitive mind, which then self-organised over time into a detailed mathematical science of the systemic, holistic nature of reality. This connection between intellect and intuition strengthens with use.
At about this time (2005) I started putting notes and essays on the web which has grown into my website and blog. Many interesting minds have contacted me over the years due to this.
I then moved on and threw myself into India. Whilst there dedicated gnana yoga spontaneously began whereon the other yoga practices spontaneously stopped - gnana is all that I needed. When the whole mind is connected to the Source through the intuitive mind that is all that is needed to initiate a process of ever expanding awareness.
I normally do not participate in the mundane world and I give my full attention, everyday of my life to the voice of spirit. I occasionally communicate with dedicated seekers of truth over the internet or through casual encounters. Spirit flows through me mainly in the form of advice upon the path, communicating a non-naive realist science to rational minds and shedding light on ancient wisdom.
This explanation has been simplified into common sense (naive realist) language hence it doesn't accurately convey what I think but it is adequate. The points are not random but develop in sequence.
What I think in simple terms:
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By John Ringland www.anandavala.info