Enough is Enough

When is Humanity Going to Get That We’re All in This Together?

Archive for March, 2009

The Campaign for Love and Forgiveness

Posted by honestpoet on March 12, 2009

I’m horrified that the violence may begin again in Northern Ireland. And I’m pretty dismayed by the global economic collapse and the ongoing violence perpetrated by Muslim extremists, as well as the recent shootings by young people in Germany and here in the states. Things seem to be going to hell in a high-speed locomotive, and I want to pull the brake on this crazy train.

I found a great website, The Campaign for Love and Forgiveness. I’m adding it to my blogroll. I can’t change the world, but I can practice love and forgiveness, and I hope you do, too. We need to forgive the Islamic world for what they’ve done. They need to forgive what’s been done to them. The folks in Northern Ireland need to forgive the past and not return to The Troubles. That kid in Germany, and his victims, wouldn’t have died had he learned to forgive those who teased him. What does violence get us? Just more hurt. It’s a cycle that leads to no good place. Let’s build a better world. Let’s learn to love and forgive.

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Tree of life and spiritual technology

Posted by majutsu on March 11, 2009

Pan-Consciousness and the Kabbalah

There is an ancient mystery tradition. Elements of the mystery tradition have been maintained in sources such as Greek philosophy, Eastern religion (Buddhism and Shivaism particularly), and in modern mystery traditions. The ultimate goal of such traditions is to understand the interplay between body and consciousness that takes place at the level of emotion. By union with a pan-consciousness, several benefits derive, both in theory and from a practical psychological point of view: 1)Since the person has united with a pan-consciousness not tied to one ego, true empathy and morality may emerge, 2)Because the emotions are derived from the interplay and thought and body, and the top-heavy element of thought is now embraced, one may be filled predominantly with blissful emotions at one’s choosing, like picking a pair of socks, 3)it may be possible to produce scientific but surprising material effects at a distance through neural network control of chaotic physical events.

Consciousness requires concepts. Concepts like Truth and Illusion are very interesting and drive us closer to understanding their mystery. Truth, for example, is the belief that what one thinks or says matches some external reality with a degree of permanence. Illusion is the concept that one’s thoughts or words do not match reality except in a tangential sense relating to momentary desire or mis-perception, a match of reality only in briefest flux. These two, taken together, indicate the need for objectivity and non-ego-oriented perspectives as precursors of true consciousness. Furthermore, there is the fact that living, conscious humans consist of a body and consciousness. Dead humans consist of a body and no consciousness. Yet nothing material has actually left. A process has stopped, and therefore, in a sense, something not visible, not material, and yet in all likelihood, not ghostly either, has left. So do we say consciousness is a process? Fine, but there are many processes in the world, like oxidation in a candle flame, erosion, etc. Are all processes consciousness? Doubtful. Yes consciousness is a process, but since other processes do not share consciousness, there is something special about the process of consciousness.

Such viewpoints leave us considering three realms of reality. The first is an ideal realm, characterized by natural law and consciousness. Just as we can speak of natural law governing the period between expansion and contraction of the universe, where there is nothing in between that is material, and also we speak of sharing the consciousness of a dead writer on a rainy afternoon, we can speak of this ideal realm, but it is still rather mysterious, but clearly primary, and permanent within flux. The material realm of flux, gain and loss, is very obvious by contrast. A third realm, represent by the conscious man, is the interaction between these two. While we refer to consciousness in a permanent sense in the ideal realm, the interactional realm is the world of the garden-variety consciousness of the living human being, the emotional/conscious level. So the three realms may be loosely defined as the ideal, the material and the conscious. This is also identified in Hindu philosophy as the three gunas” sattva (ideal), rajas (action), and tamas (darkness). In a sense, we can look at any property and it’s opposite. There is the material level where contradictory properties are excluded from being at the same moment – a la Aristotle. At the level of universal oneness and abstraction, opposites are identical. The infinitely big and the infinitely small would be indistinguishable, both are extension without limit. Now as this whole conception sees the universe in terms of union and differentiation of opposites with a constant in-breathing or outbreathing between these poles, each of the three realms may be subjugated to the same breaths and differentiation itself. And any subsequent sub-worlds may also experience the same infusion of breath, in fractal-like recursion. However, as in programming, one recursion is enough to recursively call a function until an end-point, so it is common to show the three realms recursively divided into three sub-realms each, when compounded with the totality of human experience, equaling the 10 sephiroth (3×3 + 1).

Each of these sephiroth is associated with a number and several other images from various religions and myths. This is done to pull the body, mind and emotions into a study of the breathing and flux between these worlds. This amounts to a curious science, a sort of atheistic spiritual technology. Atheism is in the sense of seeing this as an experience of the human being as unified and inseparable with the one conscious being that is all that is, therefore, denying a separate personal god apart from his creation as most religions dogmatically profess. As J Smith states in his analytical treatise on atheistic terms, pantheism is atheism, but not positive physical materialist non-skeptical atheism, but a negative (denying something not asserting anything) non-skeptical (not agnostic or denying human ability to understand) atheism. Yet it is spiritual in the sense of using myth and ritual as a technology, like a tv set, to induce personal change. This would probably be the clearest understanding of my beliefs I can deliver at this time, atheistic-pantheistic-pagan-humanistic-spiritual-technology. This is sort of taking prayer and myth and ritual and peeling it off any dogma, treating it as a realm open to scientific explanation and rational exploration just like any other perceivable phenomena. Comparative religion is the tinniest, earliest most immature part of such a study, but one that most are familiar with through J Campbell, Sam Harris, etc.

So the first realm is the Ideal, then Conscious, then Material. All nine subrealms are therefore:

Ideal
1. Ideal of Ideal -i.e. God, Shiva
2. Conscious of Ideal – will of god, creation
3. Material of Ideal – i.e. angels, mystical forces, mediation etc

Conscious
4. Ideal of Conscious – perfected self, boddhisattva, christ
5. Conscious of Conscious – inspiration, creativity
6. Material of Conscious – morality, ethics

Material
7. Ideal of Material – forms, patterns, unconscious
8. Conscious of Material- life, procreation
9. Material of Material- rationality, logic, science

10.Malkuth – the totality, real human experience, phenomenology.

Using associated images, rituals, meditation and prayer, these levels and their interplay may be understood. This replaces mere physical atoms with phenomenological atoms, packets of matter/consciousness/emotion whose assembly and disassembly make the phenomenology of a real human experience, replacing the simplistic and skewed view of material atomism obtained by looking at human life either exclusively subjectively or objectively alone.

Why is this done? Lacan and psychoanalytic theory, not surprisingly conceived by atheistic kabbalistic Jews such as Freud, provides insight into the outcome of the process:

“[The practitioners] realize that, in fact, they had little idea what they were saying, why they were saying it, or even who was speaking when they opened their mouths. The what, why, and who of their utterances has become problematic to them. Everything becomes questionable; what was most certain is no longer at all certain, and they are now open to listening to the unconscious, to hearing the other voice that speaks through them, and to attempting to decipher it. The desire for wisdom has been formed.” Bruce Fink on Lacan

This is not intended to still more pointless debates with two tiresome groups of people, believers in revealed religion and teenage-minded antisocial atheist/anarchists. This does not well represent the agnostic, merely beleaguered and wishing for respite from the fascists and theocrats. It represents a third way. I see classical humanism as a true third way and the progenitor of all culture and knowledge we have. I see the fascist and the theocrat as extremes that meld into the same mentality exclusive of subtlety. Therefore, please do not litter this note with comments if you are from either group. That which is not spoken to you should be ignorable by you if you have attained a modicum of maturity. There is a large group of people, usually oppressed and battered by the grand poles of ignorance, who is interested and involved in this spiritual technology. These are the people with whom I dine, with whom I share hope, and with whom I wish to commune.

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Your dead loved ones aren’t coming back!!

Posted by majutsu on March 8, 2009

Your loved ones aren’t coming back

aka You too are already an atheist probably, you just don’t know.

My uncle died last year. He was a gambler, smoker, and full-of-life Jackie Gleason sort of fellow, very quick-witted. I helped the rest of the family bury him. When in the earth, the casket soon disintegrates, and, so does he, atom drifting from atom in complete lassitude. One day, thousands of years from now, when his dust is scattered all over the earth, will the world suddenly be undone in a heartbeat by a vengeful God? On this zombie day, will my uncle’s atoms fly together, be magically glued together, and will he walk down main street, cigar in mouth? I think the least God could do is give him his cigar back, and his missing leg too, for all those weekends spent in Catholic church! My wife’s dead father, who died of a heart attack nearly 20 years ago, will he and my uncle stroll arm in arm down main street on zombie day? No. No, they won’t. You don’t believe that, and neither do I. Zombie day is the core belief of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. There is a complete suspension, according to scripture, of the laws of nature precipitously on zombie day, which allows the mixed dust of all the people that ever lived to be reassembled into walking, talking human beings again to be judged for their beliefs and actions. Now, since, say, some of Alexander the Great’s dust has been recycled into a baby or teenager in Greece no doubt by now, I’m not sure how Alexander the Great, the baby and the teenager can all stand completely whole for justice when they share the same physical body to some degree, magic or no. Do you believe this, or do you believe the sun is a star with a lifespan, and the earth is a planet going around the sun with lifeforms on it? That we are bodies that degrade with age and/or disease to where we no longer function, and simply dissolve, never to be reassembled, except for having small bits of our physical stuff recycled. We can tag an atom in our hippocampus, our memories, our “soul”, and watch after death as it dissolves and is reused in the butt muscle of a rat. This is a factual event, and this is why in all likelihood, you believe the latter. You probably do not really believe in zombie day, though you call yourself a Christian, Jew, or Muslim.

If you are one of the few who do believe in zombie day, really, truly believe you’re going to see my dead uncle walk downtown, kudos to you. You are at least consistent in your madness. You at least can comprehend the content of your scriptures. To those of you who claim to be Muslim, Jew, or Christian, and now protest that zombie day is not essential, you are quite mistaken.

For the Jews: Ezekiel 37: 12 – “I will open your graves, and cause you to come up”, and it is the 13th principle of faith: “I believe with complete (perfect) faith, that there will be techiat hameitim – revival of the dead, whenever it will be God’s, blessed be He, will (desire) to arise and do so. May (God’s) Name be blessed, and may His remembrance arise, forever and ever.”

For the Christians, “…there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” (Acts 24:15 KJV), “resurrection at the last day” is mentioned at John 11:24-25, Matthew 12:38-42: “…At judgment time, the citizens of Ninevah will come back to life along with this generation … At judgment time, the queen of the south will be brought back to life along with this generation …”, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and He will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. … And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (Matthew 25:31-36, 40-43, 45-46 NRSV)

For the Muslims,

Surah 75:20-21 (Part 1)

1. I do call to witness the Resurrection Day;

2. And I do call to witness the self-reproaching Spirit.

3. Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones?

4. Nay, We are able to put together in perfect order, the very tip of his fingers.

5. But man wishes to do wrong (even) in the time in front of him.

6. He questions: “When is the Day of Resurrection?”

7. At length, when the sight is dazed

8. And the moon is buried in darkness

9. And the sun and moon are joined together that Day will Man say;

10. “Where is the refuge?”

11. By no means! No place of safety!”

12. Before the Lord (alone), that Day will be the place of rest.

13. That Day will Man be told (all) that he put forward, and all that he put back.

14. Nay, man will be evidence against himself,

15. Even though he were to make excuses.

and so many others that talk about Al-Qimaya, the Resurrection and Day of Judgment.

So, if you don’t literally believe in the resurrection of the dead, you are not really a Jew, Muslim or Christian, and, in fact, according to these very same traditions you will be punished for your beliefs. So if you use the personality of Jesus or Muhammad as a sort of proof of God and his so-called wise men, yet ignore their very words, this seems rather curious indeed, and self-defeating. If you don’t really believe my uncle is going to walk down the street some day though he be stone, cold dead and dissolved now, the you aren’t really a Christian, Jew or Muslim and are going to burn in hell forever according to the very traditions you uphold as wise and good. This would make such people appear to be hypocrites and fools, slaves to other people’s will alone.

And what about this popular belief of going to a “better place” when you die? If it does not come from the desert prophets of monotheism, where does it come from? This is a very old pagan idea really. The Egyptians and most pagan peoples of the world had gods, a shadowy after-realm. It is a fruit of a pagan tradition. Pagan traditions arise from primitive understanding of man’s relationship to nature, like the cycle of the season. Spring became a metaphor for rebirth, appearing to die every winter. In writings, certainly the apex of pagan thought which also greatly influenced Western and Islamic worlds via translation and study, Plato puts forth the quintessential formulation of heaven. He basically argues that the forces the compose the universe must be symmetrical. This is in line with modern physics too. As such, he concludes that primitive properties must be in balance, hot and cold, long and short, etc. So death and life are in balance, and a loss here is the gain of a soul there. Similarly, there were reincarnation beliefs too, that a birth here was a soul migrating from there. The pain and suffering of this world is balanced by the wisdom and perfection of that world. While the reincarnation ideas crept into Eastern religion and the perfection ideas into Nirvana concepts, the ideal heaven that you go to when you die is what took hold here in the West and somewhat less in the Muslim lands, but occasionally still too. The problem with Plato’s interesting argument is that entropy, which defines the life or death of a complex structure like an organism, is not a simple property. Entropy is not conserved, but actually always increases within any closed system such as the universe, but this was not known to Plato. The “proof” offered by Plato shows what heaven really is, a desire to rail against degradation and loss, a fear of death, the end of being. It is more logical than the bizarre Hollywood magic of the desert prophets with zombies strolling the streets, to think of perhaps an alternate dimension we slip to on death, which human consciousness somehow shares, so that we may live forever, but without pain. As appealing, more placid, and rational as it may appear, heaven is not actually Christian, Jewish or Muslim. It is a pagan belief and a blasphemy. And since I doubt you believe in Zeus, Athena, Apollo, and the rest of the gods, which being the perfected spirits of the other realm are logically derived from the surety of heaven, you don’t really believe in heaven. Again, if you are one of the few who believes in Hades and the gods, under whatever name, and has the consistency to call yourself a pagan, than kudos to you as well. You at least are consistent in your madness too.

The truth is most of you call yourself Jew, Muslim or Christian out of social pressure and fear of individuality. Most of you do not really believe in zombie day because it’s stupid and fantastical. Most of you don’t really believe in heaven, because you are not idol-toting pagans “suckled in a creed outworn”, but really have a vague childish wish to live forever and have all wrongs righted somehow in the end. If there are no gods, there is no heaven. If there is no zombie day, there is no need for refuge in God. God, deprived of zombie day, is just a label for a childish wish to live forever and to never suffer injustice despite being rather insignificant really. The truth is that you are not orthodoxly one of the desert religions, or an orthodox pagan, you are really an atheist in believer’s clothing.

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Playing for Change, and one Very Brave Girl, Speaking Truth to Power

Posted by honestpoet on March 7, 2009

Here’s a Canadian girl who, back in 1992, with some of her friends, came to Brazil to address the United Nations and challenged them to act like loving parents to the world’s children. It’s awesome. Do watch.

This was back in 1992. I don’t know that it did much good then, but maybe the video, now circling the world thanks to our new ability to communicate with each other, may finally do some good. Certainly the idea that we are One World is starting to gain some currency.

Here’s a great musical statement of solidarity: the song “Stand By Me” performed by musicians around the world.

Here’s a link to the website where you can learn more about the people who made it, Playing for Change, a group of folk determined to bring people together and create peace through music. Sounds good to me. Peace, people.

Posted in Building a Better World, Earth Justice, environmental activism | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »