In Praise of Pantheism

by Ray Jason at The Sea Gypsy Philosopher

It has been 23 years since a mystical experience jolted my consciousness. But the memory of that event remains so vivid, that it could have been only 23 seconds ago. AVENTURA and I were Westbound in the immense Pacific. There was no land within a thousand miles in any direction.

Several dolphins had surrounded us, but they were behaving in a strange manner. Instead of frolicking in the bow wave as they normally do, they were repeatedly circling from bow to stern. I tried to decipher this, and guessed that they were pointing out the majestic full moon looming directly ahead. Or perhaps they were agitated by the
powerful rain squall that had just ended.

Suddenly, a particularly large dolphin approached to within a few feet, pivoted its body, and actually looked me in the eye. Mesmerized, I followed its path as it circled back behind the boat. And there, emblazoned across the sky in shimmering magnificence, was a moonbow! Bands of luminous silver, opaque white and misty lavender arched across the eastern horizon.

I shouted my thanks to the dolphins for alerting me to this phenomenon that very few people ever witness. And then a staggering awareness overwhelmed me. I realized that of the billions of humans on Planet Earth, because of my mid-ocean isolation, I was probably the only one witnessing this exquisite spectacle.

*******

Soon the moonbow dissipated and the clouds dispersed. The universe dispatched its million twinkling messengers to remind me of its incomprehensible vastness. Lying on my back, on the deck of my tiny boat, in this gigantic ocean, on a small planet, in this immeasurable cosmos, I received my baptism as a pantheist. It was at that moment that I excommunicated myself from human-created gods, and embraced the sanctity of Nature and the glory of the Universe. This majesty – this mystery – this miracle – seemed truly worthy of human reverence.

And as I now peer at our world, 23 years later, the value of pantheism is even more evident, since humans continue to slaughter each other in the name of their multitude of “one true gods.” Whether it is muslims against christians or shiites versus sunnis or tamils battling hindus, our planet is awash in unnecessary bloodshed.

And yet it is all so easily avoidable. Name one war ever fought in the name of pantheism!!! But if I asked you to list some of the evils directly linked to human-spawned gods, the catalog would be long and horrible. It would include:
· Religious wars and crusades
· Witch-hunts
· Persecutions of “infidels”
· Torture
· Human sacrifice
· Fostering the terrifying myth of Hell
· Burnings-at-the-stake
· Rejection of scientific discoveries
· Suicide bombers
· Demonization of our natural sexuality
· Claiming that innocent babies are born “soiled”
· Forcing unwanted children on poor, overburdened parents by threatening eternal hellfire
· Justification for slavery
· Reducing females to a subservient status to males

What a dreadful cavalcade of atrocities has been visited upon the world and its creatures in the name of organized religions. The defenders of these faiths often justify these horrors by claiming that churches are necessary because they provide a moral foundation for the world. The absurdity of such a claim would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic.

Look again at that litany of terrors and ask yourself this. “Could any of them be committed in the name of the love of Nature or in the name of basic human decency?” Of course not, but they ALL have been committed in the name of somebody’s favorite god. And this continues right up to this very moment. In fact, as I type this sentence, somewhere in the world an innocent child is probably being killed or mutilated because of religious fanaticism.

*******

Let us consider the roots of religion. Our early ancestors were surrounded by inexplicable, terrifying forces such as thunder, lightning, floods, volcanoes, earthquakes and hurricanes. Because of their limited knowledge, they suspected that these horrors were caused by invisible gods. And in order to obtain the mercy of these gods, they paid homage to them in various ways. So the original “religious impulse” was a survival strategy.

But with the arrival of what I call Conquest Agriculture about 10,000 years ago, religion changed from a survival strategy to an “exploitation strategy.” Food surpluses eliminated the hunter/gatherer lifestyle, and led to social hierarchies, divisions of labor and the disastrous emergence of rulers and priests. These early religious tyrants realized that if they claimed to be intermediaries between the gods and the frightened people, that they could gain enormous power and wealth.

But when reason and science were able to prove that thunder, lightning, floods, etc were not unleashed by unknowable behind-the-scenes gods, but through very knowable natural laws, the priests should have disappeared. After all, there was no longer a need for human emissaries to non-existent gods. But the bishops and mullahs and rabbis were not willing to surrender their wealth and power. So, in order to keep the “con” going, they played the “enemy” card. As long as the people could be convinced that other religions were a threat, then the need for priests could continue. It is a vile charade forced upon us by power-junkie psychopaths.

*******

Allow me to demonstrate how pantheism can break the spell of these conjurers. But first I will clearly define what pantheism is for me. It is not the “god is everywhere” version. On the contrary, it is the “god is nowhere, but Nature is everywhere” variety. It permits me to exhibit reverence towards something that is indisputably authentic and evident as opposed to worshipping a being whose existence cannot even be proven. Now let me describe its many positive and powerful aspects.

There is no “enemy” in pantheism. People don’t go to war over who has the most beautiful waterfalls. There is no need for all of the trappings of institutional religion. Who needs cathedrals and mosques on a planet lush with redwood forests and pristine shorelines? All of the money spent on such prideful glorification could be allocated to far more important needs such as universal clean drinking water or birth control that does not diminish pleasure.

Pantheists do not dictate how people should conduct their lives. There are no commandments from invisible sky bosses. Caring deeply about the planet and all of its creatures is a far wiser ethical foundation than rules supposedly imposed by a dictator in the clouds who is paranoid that his human pawns might worship false idols.

Pantheists enjoy fuller and richer daily lives because they don’t view this existence as a dress rehearsal for some heavenly paradise. This is it, so we embrace it with vibrant enthusiasm. We are also not obsessed with the “How did this all happen?” issue. The wonders of the Cosmos are no less magical and amazing just because we cannot fully comprehend them. They are still holy, and worthy of our reverence.

Pantheism also provides a fulfilling alternative for the many borderline atheists out there who recognize the absurdity and evil in organized religion, but are troubled by the lack of spirituality in atheism. Although Richard Dawkins is a pre-eminent atheist, when I hear him speak about the wonders to be found through the microscope and the telescope, he sounds to me like a pantheist poster boy.

*******

Finally, let me revisit the title of this essay – In Praise of Pantheism. I have tried to convince you that pantheism is the ideal spiritual practice for our present, troubled era. It eliminates all of the horrors of institutional religions that I listed earlier, and yet it fulfills our need for something outside of ourselves that is extraordinary and worthy of adoration. At a time when human activities are destroying our very life support system, how can we not turn to a sacred path that reveres our great mother, the Earth, and worships her great mother, the Universe?

After finishing this essay I googled around looking for other insights on modern-day pantheism, and discovered what appears to be an excellent organization and website. I recommend www.pantheism.net

Comments 113

  • I get my kicks via atheism, which is to say I don’t get my kicks that way at all because there’s no belief to praise or feel squishy about.

    I did, however, recently come across a bunch of Jean Paul Sartre quotes. Existentialism was somewhat in vogue back in the late 1970s, early 1980s, and I was very much taken with it. Sartre certainly impressive, but I liked the writing style of Albert Camus more.

    Anyway, in looking over the Sartre quotes it struck me that these have become one-liners for a stand up comedian. It’s pretty funny stuff:

    “Life is a useless passion.”

    “I exist, that is all, and I find it nauseating.”

    “A human being who wakened in the morning with a queasy stomach, with fifteen hours to kill before next bedtime, had not much use for freedom.”

    “If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company”

    Any many, many more. We are rapidly approaching a farcical ending to our civilization AND although that will be filled with much sorrow, pain and death, it is important to see the humor in it too. We’re all so smart and self-important and we’re going down the tubes like a middle school science fair experiment on yeast populations. That’s seriously funny.

  • Aside from the three “laws” of thermodynamics there is the reality of non-physical mind. Did a pantheist design the first cell? Something did.

  • Ray,
    I enjoyed your essay. Wish I could have seen that moon bow. And I wish this spirituality had taken hold, long ago.

    We could have had a better world,
    life cherished and revered.
    The road not taken, could have led,
    beyond our fondest dreams.
    But all that’s left is deep despair,
    we wonder why it’s so.
    We could have had a better world.
    Perhaps. We’ll never know.

  • Ray,
    Beautiful!
    I’m not coming back to see this beautiful essay parsed and argued about.
    Thank you, Ray,
    R~

  • Because of their limited knowledge, they suspected that these horrors were caused by invisible gods.

    Not just horrors but also all the good. That is why all the major rivers (in the Indian subcontinent) are manifestations of the Divine, all gods with female names with the exception of the Brahmaputra, the “son of Brahma”. Likewise, natural phenomena had divinity associated with them, the wind-god, the sun-god, the rain-god, etc.

    One of the leftovers from that era still observed today with much ritual and flourish is the Durga Puja in Bengal, starting this year on October 05.

    As long as the people could be convinced that other religions were a threat,

    It was not until the coming of the “Muslims” to the Indian subcontinent that the concept of “other” in terms of religion was foisted on the people. Prior to that no variance was seen as “other”, not even the sect founded by St. Thomas – even though that apostle was martyred in the subcontinent.

    A journey from animism through the whole spectrum (including pantheism) to non-dualism:
    Tripura Rahasya

  • I believe in nothing – I know nothing.

    Whatever is simply is.

    All is as it should be.

  • Thanks Ray. Your article re-grounded me. I’ve been rather scattered lately. I’ve been immersing myself in work to forget the pain. Thanks for bringing the mystery back into focus for me, that helps a lot.

    I won’t get into details here, but even science is finding evidence for a consciousness behind It All. Just like some people will never ‘get it’ about climate change and NTE, nobody will ever have a snowball’s chance in Hell of convincing me that the ‘Gods’ aren’t an integral part of nature, part of the great wilderness of it all. It’s not the Gods fault that we went berserk and totally blew it. They’re still doing what they’ve always done. I hope to meet one someday.

    Anyways, thanks for putting me in a small boat in the middle of the Pacific, for a little while, that was nice.

  • Ray, if you happen to see a tire out there…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-xkyuc08UY

  • The new consciousness would be available to all.

    Consciousness is neither new nor old. It is not constrained to time-space-causation as is awareness (=consciousness + an object illuminated by consciousness, i.e. “awareness-of”). It is not “available” to anything; every”thing” borrows its reality/existence from consciousness as does a misperceived snake from a dimly lit rope.

    The concept “consciousness” is an object, and is not consciousness at all. Indeed consciousness is needed to illuminate the object/concept labelled “consciousness” for that concept to be perceived in the first place. For those who cannot separate “awareness of” into “awareness” and “of”, none of this will make any sense. They have their own starting points. And lifetimes of various practices without heed to their cautionary guidances can be worse than useless.

  • (Preceding comment is a clarification based on a comment in the preceding post.

  • ‘We could have had a better world’

    i don’t know about that. i’ve been thinking of how the idealism of rationalists (if only everyone could be rational and intelligent…) vs. the idealism of, say, a devout believer (if only everyone had faith, and lived morally…) both idealisms are utopian. surreality is more dystopian (sigh/shrug). it is what it is. free will is illusory. if it was surreal, we’d live in a utopia, because everyone wants to be happy, eternally happy. if it could be willed, it would be so.

    as for pantheism, putting mother nature on a pedestal, well, ‘mom’ is awesome alright, but she’s also terrible. sometimes she smells like a rose, other times more like a cow pie. i guess a cow pie can be revered, i don’t know. better than pie in the sky (belief in heaven, etc.), if u know that pie isn’t surreal, but it seems most sheeple prefer their pie in the sky over cow pie. me, i’m sour on both now. nature is a cold cold bitch, and the supernatural isn’t surreal. that leaves us nothing; nihilism. hey, at least when we die, hopefully, that’s the end of suffering. that’s something to look forward to.

    ‘It’s not the Gods fault that we went berserk’

    so it’s our fault? we chose to be insane because sanity was too boring, is that it? i don’t think anyone chooses to be flawed. no blame should be assigned to mere mortals. if there are gods, creators, whatever, they are the ones to blame.

    well, that’s a few mortal minutes pissed away. good. that much closer to the finish line: death. eternal oblivion. delivery from misery.

    hey, kathy, what’s up? bet u’re reading this.

  • @ Robin Datta

    There are many different meanings and senses in which the word ‘consciousness’ is used. Your obstinate refusal to acknowledge this, and insist that only your own idiosyncratic usage is valid, is ridiculous.

    If someone says ‘the consciousness of the nation was changed by 9/11’ that’s a perfectly legitimate figure of speech and everybody understands what it means, but the definition of the word ‘consciousness’ there is nothing like the definition that you are insisting upon.

    Once again, you cause ever more confusion, needlessly.

    And lifetimes of various practices without heed to their cautionary guidances can be worse than useless.

    And you know this how ? How many lifetimes did you spend before you discovered this to be the case, Robin ?

    The problem is, that you are only concerned with serving the idea of yourself, as the superior guru ensconced upon a plinth issuing oracular ‘wisdom’, and not at all with the idea of explaining stuff so that ordinary folk can make sense of their experience of life and the world.

  • “Nobody ever has a snowball’s chance in Hell of convincing me” is exactly the PROBLEM here.

    Critical thinking is a slowness to believe and a slowness to disbelieve, and a willingness and readiness to “weigh and consider” (without necessarily accepting).

    There’s a difference between “you haven’t convinced me” versus “you will NEVER convince me”; the former means you considered it first and then rejected it, while the latter means your mind is made up and you’ll never weigh or consider anything else.

    Oh blast, what’s the use in me even talking about this? Does anything I say even matter anymore?

    Why did I even go into the library field as a profession, when nobody’s curious and everybody’s just trying to preserve their current mental state, never seeking new knowledge?

    What’s the use? All debate, political or otherwise, is no longer about finding the truth, it’s just an endless “NO YOU! NO YOU! NO YOU! NO YOU! NO YOU! NO YOU! NO YOU!”

  • Anybody want to explain the difference between Ray’s version of pantheism and hinduism ?

    According to Hinduism, the soul exists in all beings, including plants and animals. Even the mineral world is not devoid of the Supreme Spirit. “He exists in all and all exist in Him.” The whole universe is thus very sacred, pervaded by the Universal Self.

    The beings as well as the elements are in a continuous state of evolution and the souls that reside in them move through the cycle of births and deaths till they attain union with the Supreme Soul. This is in short the concept of soul according to Hinduism.

    http://www.hinduwebsite.com/beliefinsoul.asp

    People have no fucking clue what Hinduism is.

    The monotheisms – the paths which admit a single truth – are four major and many minor. The four major are Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. Buddhism is not often discussed as a monotheism, and in many variations it is not, but the notion of a single teacher who can save the student from infinite suffering should be familiar to anybody who has contact with Christianity or Buddhism: it’s the same narrative structure. The recitation of lineage back to the first teacher, the Buddha, is akin to Apostolic succession.

    Now, let us consider Hinduism. I’ve written about it at length elsewhere from a philosophical level, but now let’s address the folk religion level. Here’s the deal:

    Every being is exactly equally god: 100%, total divinity, right down to ants and trees. No exceptions.
    The universe we experience is an elaborate improvised theater piece being performed by God for its own amusement.
    Enlightenment is the direct verification of these perspectives for oneself, and is often massively, stunningly direct insight of a permanently life-changing kind.

    http://vinay.howtolivewiki.com/blog/other/tantra-race-and-feminism-3016

  • @Ray

    What a cool adventure! Keep on keepin’ on.

    Fleetwood Mac w/Bob Welsh – Angel

    The forest is ablaze with color. No time to wallow in the mire.

    Later

  • Ray, thanks for that introduction to Pantheism and the link to the website, and your wonderful description of the moonbow. I always thought of myself as some sort of pagan by which I mean a nature worshiper. But Pantheism is a good fit as described at pantheism.net, and according to their description is not to be sullied or appropriated by religions that have tenets such as “…the soul exists in all beings, including plants and animals. Even the mineral world is not devoid of the Supreme Spirit…”.

    The whole point is that there is NO soul, NO “supreme spirit”! There is just nature and we are part of it. Sometimes it smells bad, that doesn’t make it any feel any less glorious to us.

    The WPM website states:

    “As one WPM member put it, it is spirituality without absurdity.”

    “It does not require faith in miracles, invisible entities or supernatural powers.”

    “The WPM aims to provide a spiritual and social “home base” for people who love Nature and the Universe but do not believe in supernatural entities.”

    I have been sooooo depressed because nature is dying so I have nothing left to marvel at. I am trying to think of a new word to describe the feeling, because depressed is inadequate. As a species we have never witnessed extinctions at this magnitude before, never had to contemplate our own extinction.

    Any suggestions? I was thinking maybe, anaphylacitc mourning.

    I just read an absurd article, where four days of rain are blamed for the deaths of thousands of emaciated swallows. I don’t suppose the fact that the ecosystem is collapsing could have anything to do with it?

    http://www.tillamookheadlightherald.com/regional/article_ceafce04-2ba8-11e3-af71-0019bb2963f4.html

    Wet and windy weather cause of swallow die-off

    SALEM, Ore.―The recent wet and windy weather has taken a toll on Oregon’s Barn and Violet-green Swallows. On Monday, veterinarians for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife received multiple calls from Oregon residents about dead and dying swallows. Reports have come from the Port of Saint Helens to as far south as Junction City.
    Groups of from 10 to 200 swallows were reported dead or near death in barns and other structures where they perch. Mortality appears to be greater closer to rivers and standing water where the birds concentrate.

    Colin Gillin, ODFW State Wildlife Veterinarian, estimates that thousands of birds have died. “This type of mortality event is unprecedented and considered a rare and unusual event,” said Gillin. “The effect on bird populations is unknown.”

    A number of birds were examined at the Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and pathologists determined the swallows were thin and had not eaten recently with their cause of death most likely being weather-related starvation. Veterinarians believe that the four consecutive days of rain and wind prevented the swallows from feeding at a time when they would normally be preparing for winter migration. September was the wettest on record for the Willamette Valley.

    Swallows feed on insects during flight and inclement weather events can have an effect on young and weaker birds that cannot take in enough food to meet their energy requirements. Swallows are seasonal migrants to Oregon and migrate to Central and South America during winter.

  • “Name one war ever fought in the name of pantheism.”

    Roman slaughter of the Celts, up to and including The Druid Massacre at Anglesey, the Romans embracing Epona as part of their pantheon.

    Roman massacre of the Jews, one exception being the Siege of Masada where the Jews decided they would rather kill themselves than live under Roman rule.

  • LMAO at finding Mr Kling accidentally on YouTube commenting on Russell Brand’s GQ award speech.

    And I wasn’t even looking for him!

  • Whoa that was kind of creepy, but then it led to something for Badlands, Russell Brand on Jungian archetypes and magic threads connecting all our brains!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7lw1oQFd6Y

  • You can be an atheist and a pantheist simultaneously, as I also think Dawkins is. A-theist, by definition, means not believing in a theist god — one who can intervene, communicante with you personally, etc. — that’s it. Atheism is not nihilism, although even the nihilist can be a pantheist, since nihilism is really no belief in the redemption of human instutions. Nature is a different story.

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #54

    Ghost bird joins the song.
    Old words float on whistled notes;
    the cosmic veil whirls.

  • @ Nathanial:

    Wow!, now we know what to do if we want to get F.Kling (Col. Klink) riled up.

    Look – I actually agree that the Nazis were just very good at being really bad. The European conquest of the Western Hemisphere is an unspeakable horror upon the indigenous peoples – every bit as horrible as the Holocaust. And look at what remains of the indigenous peoples on the reservations today – just awful.

    Now, why the long face? Maybe this is what we are and we should celebrate our most horrific acts against one another and the other living things on Earth!

    Actually doesn’t matter to what you were born, we are all guilty – Germans, Cherokee, Blackfoot, Maya, Americans, Christians, Muslims, Arabs, Jews, whatever… This is the history of humans – killing and conquest and genocide – and the ongoing neglect, torture, and abuse of other people and other living things. We suck.

    If this is intelligent life, then it is a bad thing. I am ashamed.

    Jack: “Don’t you dare lump me in with Kendrick and Jessep just because we wear the same uniform.”

    I think that says it all, doesn’t it? Klink wears the same uniform and doesn’t want to be judged by the worst of those folks. But, we are all guilty and we all share the shame of being human.

    Shame. Shame. Shame.

  • How many times do we have to listen to illogical statements like ‘there is no soul’ as if I or we believe so much of humanity is or has been about what is or has been real. Denial is easy. Awareness, a gift of hell.

    There is little to nothing that humans have constructed for their survival right to this very monent that we can claim desreves to be called real. Colors? Right. Emotions? Right. Celebrations? Right. Rights? Right. Government. Right. We are all mostly true believers in the entirety of the construct. Sooooo, each of us has pared back a leaf or two on the sucker branch of the patriarch, trying to guess or fool ourselves and others that the easy way back to nature is discovering the world and humanity is soulless, but keeping to soulful activities all the same. And having failed, to make a difference, the best we seem to muster is to point out the falsity of others sucker leaf. reality. Whoo-hoo hot dang we’re smart little elves. Santas helpers, all.

    One can go on and on deconstructing just about the entire human experience as a made up fantasy. Because that is what it is. That is why we are unknowingly killing the real planet. Get over it those of you who think you escaped your human idiocy because you are still being idiotic in most areas of life and definately the ones killing the planet, but can still claim to be a true believer through intelligence in your preferred stage and curtain wizardry. Dang, there I go talking with words that are made up. Wait, what words are not made up?

    Arrrrrrghhhhhhh……,.,,

    We are doomed by our fantasies.

    Doomed.

  • @ Gail:

    The best line from that video link:

    Ferguson: “We’re back with Russell Brand, and his views are not my views unless they’re yours.”

    We are all chameleons. We wear many different uniforms.

    Get along or get along…

    Merge or purge, that is your choice.

    Build a man a fire, he’s warm for a day, set him on fire and he’s warm for the rest of his life!

    Associated Press
    10/03/2013

    The U.S. is overtaking Russia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas, a startling shift that is reshaping markets and eroding the clout of traditional energy-rich nations.

    U.S. energy output has been surging in recent years, a comeback fueled by shale-rock formations of oil and natural gas that was unimaginable a decade ago. A Wall Street Journal analysis of global data shows that the U.S. is on track to pass Russia as the world’s largest producer of oil and gas combined this year—if it hasn’t already.

  • Wow, Ray, what a beautiful baptism! Oh, how I wish I could look a dolphin in the eye, offering my sincerest apologies for all of the carnage we humans have wrought in this world. Thank you for sharing such a powerful moment.

    On religion, you do bring up the darker aspects of how it is twisted to manipulate and control people, to expand empires and exploit resources, but I think there is another side that is not mentioned. There is suffering in the world, pain, poverty, depression, and especially loneliness. People searching for meaning in this world, searching for mercy, kindness, even forgiveness, often turn to religion. Whether or not they find that in the church may be questionable, but that they seek those things is real.

    Western society has become so cynical, there are likely few who have truly experienced grace, either the giving or receiving of, in fact it’s likely few even know what it means. Grace is the undeserved favor of god, but as creative beings, we can also give ‘undeserved favor’. We can forgive without strings attached, we can give without expectation of anything in return. I would consider myself closer in alignment to your description of pantheism than any organized religion, but in my times of suffering, the gospel of Jesus, the message that God is Love, can be very inviting in a cold, hard world. As it is, I have been turned off from Christianity in the larger sense by what I found in the church, but I don’t discredit that simple message, however some have twisted it.

    There are positive aspects to many religions, so I like to explore, taking what is good and weaving those threads into my own non-belief system, my own faith that it will all go on, even if the mystery is never to be revealed to me. Worship takes the form of long walks and hikes, noticing the grasses, touching the trees, examining the rocks, watching the clouds roll by, feeling the wind, holding a child’s hand and pointing out the birds and butterflies, listening to their own explanations, finding wisdom in their understanding of the world. In other words, I like to keep it simple. Non-elaboration on the perfection of the world works for me, allows for wonder and appreciation. I really enjoyed your essay, and it paints such a lovely, tangible visual.
    Thank you again! https://youtu.be/hPcotrcdDDk

    @Gail Bwahaha! That was seriously funny, but I must confess I’m really only vaguely familiar with Jung and Freud. Who knew I would discover via NBL-Gail-Russell Brand- that I have something in common with Jung- both of us being practitioners of Kundalini Yoga. How bizarre! Thanks for the link. Along with ulvfugl’s link on the earlier thread, I have had some good laughs this morning. But now I must prepare for the imminent winter storm, at least pick the last of the tomatoes and dig out the snow shovel. The forecast calls for 1 1/2 – 2 feet of snow tomorrow. With all of the leaves still on the precarious trees, there may be a big old mess and possible loss of power for us. Back to reality!

    If you don’t see God in all, you don’t see God at all.-Yogi Bhajan

  • Another thing, to all those bitching about the patriarchy on the other threads and associating it with men.

    Fail.

    Those patriarchs have wives don’t they, and mothers, and daughters?

    All these women benefit from the patriarchs social position.

    Male dominated society? Really?

    Never seen a woman live in a better house than a man?

    Idiots.

  • Dear Librarian,

    Thank you for your excellent comment.

  • Librarian sez: Why did I even go into the library field as a profession, when nobody’s curious and everybody’s just trying to preserve their current mental state, never seeking new knowledge?

    It’s not the case that everyone and no one is …. It’s just that many of us who do seek knowledge and new mental states (gradual revisions on existing ones, really) are going about our business quietly and without fanfare. The publicized antics of media whores, self-styled pundits and gurus, and spamilicious commentators do not concern or bother us much. Morris Berman recommended such quiet erudition years ago in the first book of his American trilogy and called it the New Monastic Individual (NMI). It’s actually a lot more interesting than combing through NBL comments in search of a gotcha.

  • Pantheism, you bet. That was my second stop in the process of rehabilitating my atheism during the Dark Night of the Soul that followed my crisis-awareness shock. The first stop was Deep Ecology, which is a nice hald-way point for a positivist. It doesn’t take much poking around to get from DE to pantheism.

    What surprised and delighted me was the long list of overtly pantheistic scientists and other luminaries I found: David Suzuki, James Lovelock, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Oscar Wilde, Mikhail Gorbachev, Sitting Bull, Henry David Thoreau, Carl Sagan, Albert Schweitzer, Georgia O’Keefe, Rachel Carson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Giordano Bruno etc. A lot better people than I have found a place there.

    I’m still an atheist (of course), but the universe I live in feels like a much friendlier place these days.

    Thanks for the essay, and especially for that visual. Pure magic.

  • Personally, I’m a follower of pancheneyism, which is the belief that Dick Cheney is in all things. Pandcheneyists have seen the Great One’s face on everything from pop tarts to turtle shells to spent uranium casings to condom wrappers.

    If you don’t see Dick Cheney in all, you don’t see Dick Cheney at all. -Brother Nihil

  • @Badlands – I love what you shared. So much like my own trip.

    “There are positive aspects to many religions, so I like to explore, taking what is good and weaving those threads into my own non-belief system, my own faith that it will all go on, even if the mystery is never to be revealed to me. Worship takes the form of long walks and hikes, noticing the grasses, touching the trees…”

    I hope (there’s that much maligned word) your son is doing better with the being bullied situation. My best to you, mike k

  • Dean, I’m not sure you’re using the concept of patriarchy correctly.

    The point of patriarchy is that men rule over women, which could include between groups OR WITHIN groups.

    Those wives and mothers and daughters you’re talking about might lead wealthy and powerful lives, but if they are dominated by their men, then that domination is real.

    Domination is not simply group-on-group, sometimes it’s group-members-on-other-group-members.

    That’s where I think the confusion rests.

  • Wow! The dolphins alerted you to a moon bow! It sounds like a beautiful song or poem or dance 🙂

  • Tropical Storm Karen is freshening into a possible hurricane, targeting Florida and Louisiana.

    86% of FEMA is furloughed.
    NOAA’s website is down.
    The lady that prepares the storm surge maps for NOAA is furloughed. Clearly not an essential function.

    Tell me again how we are going to organize to decommission 400+ nuke plants? We can’t organize to hold a damned bake sale. They’re kicking the can down the road a week at a time now.

  • Gail said- “I just read an absurd article, where four days of rain are blamed for the deaths of thousands of emaciated swallows. I don’t suppose the fact that the ecosystem is collapsing could have anything to do with it?”

    I have run a wildlife rehabilitation center for many years now and have taken in many swallows that have suffered from the lack of food due to rain, but it is usually after 10 days or so of consecutive rain with no break in sight and it also is usually during the beginning of the breeding season,when they are attached to a nesting site. The article you posted sounds like the authorities aren’t interested in trying to discover the real reason for the die off. They probably just want to send the message “Don’t concern yourself, nothing wrong here.”
    In my experience,government wildlife agencies generally only know or care to know about “charismatic mega-fauna” that have a hunting season.

    Rob ATPL said- Build a man a fire, he’s warm for a day, set him on fire and he’s warm for the rest of his life!

    Thanks for the laugh!!

  • Streets that follow like a tedious argument Of insidious intent To lead you to an overwhelming question…. Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” Let us go and make our visit….

    I like to engage from time to time in inner reveries, sort of guided daydreams. You could call them thought experiments:

    In a possible near future things have become very bad indeed. People are dying in increasing numbers and life on Earth is rapidly deteriorating. In this desperate atmosphere an obscure lecturer began to be wildly popular and listened to not only in person but widely on various media. A groundswell of worldwide attention focused on this man’s message, which was very simple: we are all doomed to extinction in the near future and there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about it. This teacher had gradually gathered around him a coterie of convinced and dedicated followers who financed and promoted his message so successfully that the day came when almost everyone on the planet had come to believe the truth of his teaching, which he supported with seemingly irrefutable scientific proof. In time some of the most well known climatologists backed him up. The result was that nearly everyone except some mentally defective types and natural born naysayers were totally convinced that the end times were upon us and soon!

    Well the people decided that the Prophet of Doom (as he came to be popularly called) deserved a ceremony thanking him for his gift to humankind. The arrangements were made, and in spite of his modest protestations (he was heard to say, “we all do what we can.”) he agreed to appear. The proceedings were put out by every electronic media available to mass communication, and the world waited breathlessly to hear the eulogy forthcoming.

    As the thunderous applause finally died down, the Secretary General began, “Beloved liberator, how can we thank you for the gifts you have bestowed on us? In the long history of human kind we have suffered from uncertainty about our collective future. You have generously removed this source of our discomfort. We rest now in the assured knowledge that we will soon be toast.” (Here the secretary General blushed when he realized that he had inadvertently slipped into the vernacular, but he quickly recovered his composure and continued.)

    “Your greatest blessing for us was your thoroughly and completely demolishing any idea we might have had that there was even a scintilla of hope left for averting the coming final demise of each and everyone of us. And that this final ending would come quickly; no more wondering how many long centuries were left for the human story to finally end. All the foolish stories about our having a higher destiny are finished, exposed as the nonsense they always were. The understanding that we are other than meat robots without real free will, or a soul are now finally shown to have been stupid delusions. What a relief to be done with all that unnecessary baggage! All the talk about creating some kind of earthly paradise based on love of one another, no need to waste time on that either. The fact is, there is no need now to prepare for anything whatever. Schools out! And you can kiss your so-called jobs goodbye too. There isn’t a single thing that really needs doing until D Day, our collective doomsday.

    There’s not more to say about this glorious day of liberation, so go out there and have an orgy, do some pillaging, settle some old scores, or whatever you choose. Remember, there are no laws anymore, no right or wrong, we have gone beyond all that and come to understand that human life in this meaningless universe was just a big pain in the ass that we are glad to be rid of!”

    Some were delirious with excitement, and some were in tears following the ceremony, but the best overall description would be confused chaos…

    (Thanks to Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal, Michael Moore’s Prayer to Afflict the Comfortable, the creators of the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and T.S. Eliot)

  • geez Ray, what an experience! Thanks for your thoughts. I too like pantheism and whatever is behind it (what’s the word, “directing”? “choosing”?) somehow “deciding” which way everything from the subatomic to galaxies and the entire universe, and all the interconnectedness in between, “occur” or “happen.” It’s weird about us, we WANT to believe in something that’s real, that somehow makes it all happen (including us of course), but it’s really hard and after a while we’re at a loss for words and it just is (hat tip to pat). The scientific explanation crossing biology, evolution, physics, chemistry, using math to describe or model most of it, is comforting to a point, but then they too run out of explanation.

    Here’s one you all might like (from over at Jonathon Turley’s blog, the comment below being his)

    Bohemian Gravity

    A Capella Science

    “This is McGill grad student Tim Blais explaining string theory and we should just give him a Nobel for this and send him along his way.”

  • To Woods Dweller, I laughed till tear ran down my cheeks over this you said:

    “Tell me again how we are going to organize to decommission 400+ nuke plants? We can’t organize to hold a damned bake sale. They’re kicking the can down the road a week at a time now.”

  • Brother Nilhil, you are so much fun!
    Brother Nihil Says:
    October 3rd, 2013 at 11:30 am
    Personally, I’m a follower of pancheneyism, which is the belief that Dick Cheney is in all things. Pandcheneyists have seen the Great One’s face on everything from pop tarts to turtle shells to spent uranium casings to condom wrappers.

    If you don’t see Dick Cheney in all, you don’t see Dick Cheney at all. -Brother Nihil

  • Anybody want to explain the difference between Ray’s version of pantheism and Taoism ?

    http://www.lifeartsmedia.com/opening-dao-taoism-martial-arts-documentary

  • So now Gail is delighted to accept Spirituality, just so long as there’s nothing Spiritual involved.

    So all that needs to happen now is for her to drink some ahayuasca, understand what the word spiritual really means, and then we’ll have universal agreement here and all become harmoniously extinct for ever more. Yippeee !

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheism

    @ mike k

    I like to engage from time to time in inner reveries, sort of guided daydreams. You could call them thought experiments:

    Nothing wrong with that, but if you’re going to make them public, then expect public reaction, and the problem with this fantasy of yours is that you’ve forgotten to check it against the real world.

    There’s a few THOUSAND people who listen to Guy and accept what he says, a few thousand more who don’t really believe it, including you.

    That’s out of 7 point something BILLION and rising fast, most of whom have not even heard of climate change in any detailed scientific sense, or the other eco disasters that we discuss every day, and who don’t care either way.

    You attacked the world’s climate scientists for being ‘unable to predict the weather’, (spreading nefarious Koch/Exxon lies) and yet you, all by yourself, think that you can predict how the future will unroll, and how people will behave, with this fanciful and implausible fantasy ?

    Methinks, you inhabit land of clouds and cuckoos, mate.

    What your comment shows ( together with your previous comments ) is that you do not understand the scientific basis for what Guy is saying, you do not understand how the world works, international relations, geopolitics, etc, works, and what your comment shows is that despite your self-estimation, you are not exactly in the same league as Jonathan Swift and T.S. Elliot, but behaving more like a classic concern troll. Check the definition.

  • @Librarian, seems we’re a lot alike, you and me. 🙂

    From WoodsDweller, “86% of FEMA is furloughed.” I heard somewhere recently, that only 6% of important scientists are Republicans, and that the rest of the scientists are trying to figure out how the number got so high.

    @Denise, #54 left me weepie eyed, one of my favorite ways to feel. 🙂

    Dear Brother Nihil, it’s about time someone acknowledged the world’s biggest dick! And to think he has his own religion, Pancheneyism, I can’t think of anyone more deserving. His efforts have truly been all encompassing! It’s easy to see the works of his hand in all things. I too saw his face, just the other day, in a pile of dog doodoo. The little curl at the top was an exact likeness of his endearing sneer and the tapeworm crawling over the side was an exact likeness of his sad birthmark.

    Yep, paternalism. I don’t know much about it. I never took pleasure from dominating females. Rather defeats the purpose, IMHO. I know that men and women are not treated equally. But, I do believe that most women are as stupid and prejudiced as most men. And I would like to add, that if men are the brains and trigger finger behind war, women are the backbone. Did you ever try to promote peace around a women whose precious, KillKrazed IdiotChild is in another country killing babies? WOW! LOOK OUT! There’s maternalism at it’s best! 🙁 You can’t even say, “that war over there was all about oil.” without Big Momma bellowing and shrieking like a Banshee, “YOU DON’T SUPPORT THE TROOPS! YOU’RE A COWARDLY TRAITOR! HOW CAN YOU CALL YOURSELF A GOOD UPPER VOLTARIAN!?! BLAH, BLAH , BLAH! Of course the innocent children dying never inters her mind. Dumb as a brick, but owning the power to kill, she fumbles her way through life, a true slave and pawn.
    The vast majority of men and the vast majority of women simply slide unconsciously through life, like slugs, leaving a slimy trail. It seems they only wake from their stupor when the occasion arises to act as Thought Police, protecting and defending a tragically twisted farce they call, sadly, ‘culture’. Or, rent a cops, standing at the gate of Freedom, trying, as if their life depended on it, to make sure that nobody gets in.

  • @u – Thanks for your input u, your comments help me stay on course.

    @Ray Jason – Thanks for your beautiful story. Sharing one’s profound experiences is a bit risky in a diverse audience such as this, and I commend you for taking that risk. All of us who have had similar epiphanies resonate with yours, and thank you for sharing it.

  • Ray,

    I’m not much into gods, “isms”, and organizations but I’m glad you paid attention to the dolphins.

    Nice essay.

  • Hello all,

    MacinMN here with his first opportunity to chime in, jumping from the previous thread to this new rich, rich, richly provakative piece.

    @Erin, Thanks for the acknowledgement of my virgin post! and your dismay over the thread’s not noticing my distress.

    @Lidia, Thank your for your honest revealing of your difficulty in even considering sharing your pain and vulnerability in the physical presence of others equally struggling. I have found that shared grief can be the basis of deep bonds with others that may defy description by words – could be something truly ineffable!

    @Gail, Thank you for confirming my emerging recognition of the frequent total lack of moderation on the part of some posters lol! and I now get that it is a come as you are kind of event.

    Rob@dalibrary, Could be the NSA, I’m reminded of a medical condition celebrated in a Cream song – NSU non-specific urethritis – or an undiagnosable penile drip. Well NSA, non-specific assholeness? What ya think?

    @RealDrHouse, Thanks for the good wishes on my updating of Diogenes!

    @BadlandsAK, Good to know about others who may be in my low-carbon footprint neighborhood.

    @Infanttyrone, Also, Thanks for the encouragement.

    Seems that there have been no reports from this frontier of NTE processing. Could be the explorers were eaten by trolls, or passed away from loneliness. As I noted in my note to the list, I have the privilege of having a couple of friends who are creeping up on the transition from “transition town” perspectives toward the NTE space.

    I find using humor to be the best grease for their decent – gallows humor of course.

    So, I may have a chance to continue to post dispatches from this particular frontier, and may be the Horace Greely of the endtimes. “Go into group/community connection at the end of the world young ones!” Doesn’t have to be West. But its looking more like a manifest destiny all the time.

    Blessings and Abundance to all, no exceptions,

    MacinMN

    ps: for the primitives abundance merely meant “enough”

  • @Librarian

    I don’t agree with your worldview.

    I believe there is a ruling class and a working class.

    Ruling class is NOT the government, legal system, etc… but something else.

    This is a hidden oligarchy as Aldous Huxley described, and made up of men and women, who gain the advantages of being rulers over the WORKERS, WHO ARE women and men.

    This feminist false worldview perpetuated by the TV and the education system is why people fight against each other as they are stuck in Plato’s cave and can’t work out their ass from their elbow.

    Feminism was invented by old men to double the tax base and weaken the family unit so people won’t stand up for anything.

    Bitching about men is classic divide and rule.

  • A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.” Good point there.

  • @ mike k

    Thanks for your input u, your comments help me stay on course.

    Do you think there’s anything wrong with that critique ?

    IF ONLY Guy DID have that sort of leverage, and IF ONLY now was thirty years ago, because I am not a defeatist or a fatalist, and I think a small group of very smart and committed people could / can completely change the world and the course of history.

    So, I’m all in favour of your ‘thought experiments’ as a virtuous and positive expression, but the way to proceed is to regard them as expendable, like clay pigeons, fling ‘em out and let everyone blast away and shoot ‘em down. Most won’t survive. But there’s always a chance that something valuable is learned, one in thousands goes up into orbit and we all benefit…

    Trouble is, it’s too effing late. What do we do about the irreversible feedbacks ? What do we do about the 40 year time lag ? What do we do about the Fukes ? What do we do about the acidification of the oceans and the rising sea levels and the wrecked climate, stuff that’s going to be with is for many, many centuries regardless of ANY action we take now ?

    You want to pin some hope on some doubt, on some uncertainty, on some maybe, that the science just could be mistaken. I think that was a valid, solid position several decades ago.

    We should have acted THEN, because we should have been cautious and responsible, rather than reckless and irresponsible. But action at that time turned out to be impossible, politically, because power wanted wealth and control, and people wanted ‘higher standards of living’, and so forth.

    It was a battle between different mythologies, different philosophies, different worldviews, and now we get the result. We can’t turn the clock back. There appears to be no practical way to return CO2 levels to pre-industrial, and even if we did, the climate does not return to what it was.

    So, we press on towards catastrophe. We press rapidly ahead towards the extinction event.
    What if your story, your fantasy, your thought experiment, is correct ? What the hell difference does it make now ? Because if we are on a train that is going full steam ahead, flat out toward a chasm, where the rails end, it IS going to plunge over a cliff.

    You’re worried that Guy makes this worse ? How can it BE any worse ? All Guy is doing is trying to tell the truth about the situation, as he see it. I happen to agree with him. The vast majority – I mean, overwhelming numbers – don’t agree or don’t even know or care.

    What can be done ? Nobody seems to know. To cut emissions means cutting use of fossil fuels means a lot of people get very reduced living standards and a lot of people die. But to keep using fossil fuels means we get the mass extinction event and everyone dies.

    I’ve posed this dilemma to a lot of people. They typically give me absurd hogwash in reply, about ‘transition’, biochar, wooden windmills, etc. that have no connection to the reality of the world that we have, of nuclear weapons, massive political power blocs, two new China’s worth of people due to be born onto the planet over the next couple of decades, etc, etc, etc.

    You know, Albert Bartlett, and overshoot and the lessons of world history… Afrizen made that great list of required reading a few days ago. The biosphere is collapsing just as surely as the Titanic sank. Sure, be a bodhisattva, be loving and kind, be optimistic if you want, it doesn’t stop the damn ship from sinking. Does it.

    I don’t deny that there is a total mystery at the heart of all this, that there are limitations to what we understand, to what we can understand, and the best hope we have, on a personal level, is to absolutely amazing spiritual beings.

    I mean, what harm does that do ? It’s sublime to be really high and really pure and really blissful and see everything as sacred and be the whole Universe. Someone said we’re not humans on a spiritual journey, we’re spirits on a human journey. Well, there’s the problem. We need decent food and clean water and a habitable planet.

    Doesn’t matter how holy and sacred and compassionate and enlightened and spiritual all that crap anyone thinks they are, there’s a basic practical aspect concerning Newtonian physics and simple biology and physiology and arithmetic.

    When the carrying capacity was exceeded and the ecology collapsed the humanoid bonobos died. Even though they were smart enough to build nuclear power stations and an internet, they were not smart enough to avoid causing a mass extinction event. All that remained was a thin layer of plastic and glass fragments in the geological record.

  • Dean

    “He who’s vision cannot cover history’s three thousand years, must in outer darkness hover, live within the days frontiers.”. Goethe

    Today’s frontiers are apocalyptic compliments the patriarch. But men who promote the denial and stupidity driving us there are apocomasters.

    Welcome Dean, apocomaster, welcome to the beach, and good luck with that.

    Dear all, I think I am a pan-diest in the making, or some such thing. In the making, so when the what hits the fan, I’ll be ready to become universal dust and wait a few million years for my next chance to honor this paradise we once called earth.

    Regarding the biblical rains here in Oregon, it seems December is a few months early. I’m thinking I’ll do Christmas in October to honor the fact that the seasons are dying right along with everything else. My nativity scene will have Jesus gone missing like the season he used to represent.

  • Dear Ulvfugl, I believe we get aligned,(call that love if you will) with the Universe and mother nature and we stay that way forever if we stay that way. In the realm of timelessness where dimensions alter form after death, why cling to this form? So of course it matters as Mike K insists. Don’t let the oldest trick in the book of death fool you. Everything dies. The question is how we live till we die, on mother nature/universe’s team or not and we are all looking for excuses or creating excuses including this apocalypse to deny that life, that power. If we understand this and change, miracles and moonbows might follow. But collectively to change in time is extremely unlikely and so we perish as one. Even those who did find their way back it looks most likely that it will only matter for the next emanation. There is eternal universal emanation as far as we know. Right? It could make a difference and why not believe in that rather than it won’t. How can that hurt status quo?

    So it goes.

  • for people trying to blur concepts:

    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/dawkins-event-and-noms/

    Comments on a post, following the event:

    Keith
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink
    Sounds like a lovely evening. I’m not sure I understand the audience member’s question about energy in the body. Was he or she referring to entropy? It would be correct to say that energy survives death, just not in any form where it remains organized (unless embodied in other living organisms).

    Reply

    Randy S
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink
    I think he was referring to a conscience that could continue on without the body. Ultimately, it was (as Richard pointed out) a misunderstanding of physical energy. The thing that most people are resistant to is the idea that the human conscience is within the brain, and once the brain fails, the conscience ceases to exist. It’s scary to some people, thus they believe that a conscience can continue after death.

    Reply

    Sastra
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink
    Right. In woo-speak the term “energy” means something different than it does in physics (though the energy-proponents don’t necessarily realized this and often think their spiritual views are comporting with science.) Bottom line, it’s a marker for Substance Duality.

    As Vic Stenger points out, most people believe the universe is made of two kinds of stuff:

    1,) Matter — > Body

    Particles
    (Discreteness, Reductionism)

    and

    2.)”Energy” –> Mind, Spirit, Soul, Vital Force

    Electromagnetic/Bioenergetic Fields
    (Continuity, Holism)

    That’s supernaturalism. The questioner was hoping that Richard Dawkins was going to throw out God but grant legitimacy to supernaturalism. That’s because “energy” is one of those two-sided deepity words and religious/spiritual habits of thought trade on intuition and confusion, blurring concepts from one category and into another.

    Scientific thinking strives to be clear.

  • @ TIAA

    I’m not denying patriarchy exists, but that complaints should be referred to the layer that sits above it – the oligarchy.

    Plato described the layer below the ruling class as the Auxiliaries and this is where I would say the patriarchal organisations sit – government, military and so on.

  • a thought experiment, a philosophy, a game…

    The Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Sets

    1 – The Set of Agreed Experiential Knowledge

    { the grass is green, the sky is blue, trees exist, an extinction event is underway, I think therefore I am }

    2 – The Set of Agreed Physical Knowledge

    { quarks exist, the Universe has 300 billion galaxies, our galaxy has 300 billion stars, our species has evolved from from earlier species, NTE is highly probable }

    3 – The Set of Agreed Asserted Beliefs

    { NTE is certain, non-physical mind in any form does not exist }

    4 – The Set of Personal Experiential Knowledge

    { I hate broccoli, I feel healthier if I eat meat, I do not care what anyone else eats, Mozart rocks }

    5 – The Set of Personal Beliefs

    { I will honor my mother and father, if I behave morally I will go to Heaven, Mozart sucks, my dog exists }

    6 – The Set of Personal Experiential Knowledge, Asserted as Hypothetically True

    { ulvfugl rocks, God exists, squirrels live in trees, The Chefurka Hypothesis }

    7 – The Set of Personal Beliefs, Asserted as Hypothetically True

    { eating meat is never necessary, souls do not exist, ulvfugl is a blue meanie, religious people use faith to avoid fear of death }

    8 – The Set of Personal Experiential Knowledge, Asserted as Absolutely True

    { I dreamed I was flying, these pretzels are making me thirsty }

    9 – The Set of Personal Beliefs, Asserted as Absolutely True

    { my god is the one true god, if you insult my god I have a right to kill you, if I murder I will go to Hell, souls exist, these trees are dying }

    ~~~ The Rules of the Emporium

    – a single set cannot hold contradictory statements. this is the most tricky rule. are there sets above that hold contradictory statements? this can only be decided by filling in more statements, or further defining statements.

    if the statement “killing is sometimes acceptable” is in Set 7, then there might not be a contradiction in Set 9. however this statement can be falsified, and “killing is always wrong” could end up in Set 9, in which case Set 9 now contains a definite contradiction.

    Set 6 may contain a contradiction, and the only way to resolve that is to further define the statements in Set 6.

    – a statement can only exist in one set. you get to choose which one.

    – contradictory statements can appear in different sets.

    – there can be empty sets.

    – you cannot keep the same statement in two different sets – it has to go in one set or another, right now. you can always move it later.

    – THE GOAL: the goal is to fill out the sets for yourself. check your beliefs and experiences, and see where you think they best fit.

    you could have a personal belief, but not feel that strongly about it. maybe you haven’t even given it two seconds thought yet, so it stays only in the Set of Personal Beliefs, and it doesn’t really matter to you whether it is true, so you aren’t going to assert it as either Hypothetically True and definitely not as Absolutely True.

    another example:

    a person may wish to think the statement “broccoli is evil” belongs in Set 1 – the Set of Agreed Experiential Knowledge. such a person would have to back up this assertion with some kind of proof, and then we all get to agree, or not, on whether this proof is convincing.

    (if we all agree it is convincing, then possibly we can start the NBL blog – No Broccoli Lovers – and discuss it all much further.)

    if you are confused, check the definitions below. if you think something should be in a “knowledge” set and not a “belief” set, for example, but you aren’t sure, check the definition.

    ~~~ Definitions and Examples

    “An Experience”

    an event that has a direct and tangible impact on a sentient being. this event could be: reading a book and absorbing a story or new knowledge; a multifaceted experience such as feeling the grass under ones feet or seeing a dying tree; a purely physical experience such as hunger, craving, badly stubbing a toe; a more mental experience such as a dream, a vision, a paranormal experience or a hallucination.

    “A Belief”

    one item in of a set of ideas that can be communicated to oneself, or communicated to another person, that solely serves to help define ones total picture of reality.

    to distinguish: An Experience of badly stubbing my toe is to feel the pain and see the blood. A Belief is that if I do not immediately disinfect the wound, it will become infected. it may or may not become infected depending on many variables, but if I act as if my reality demands that I disinfect the wound or else I will get an infection, I am acting on a belief, not an experience.

    “Knowledge”

    the set of both beliefs and experiences that for certain personal or publicly important reasons have become factual, or to a degree, “true.” we all have to agree that the sky is blue in some fashion. we can all agree that gravity sucks when you have tripped and fallen off of a tall building, and gravity rocks if you want to have a Universe as we know it. we can all agree that cleaning wounds is a good idea if one wishes to remain healthy, and that methane is a greenhouse gas.

    Knowledge in this sense is what we have decided, personally or publicly, to call “proved.” this does not mean it cannot be revised, only that it is a stable set at this moment.

    “Hypothetically True” vs. “Absolutely True”

    Hypothetically True is defined as being a possibly true statement that is in some manner subject to revision, proof or falsification.

    a personal belief in God could be held as Hypothetically True. I may then have a series of experiences that I feel falsify the hypothesis. it is now proved in my mind that “there is no God.” I can now move this to a statement of Absolutely True, for myself, and I can also assert that this statement belongs in the realm of “proved Knowledge.”

    Absolutely True is defined as being a statement that admits no possible falsification, now and for all time. for example:

    – there cannot possibly be a God, and my statement is final, subject to no possible revision or falsification.

    – there is a God, and this is absolutely true and final, for all time.

    another example of an Absolutely True statement would be a proved mathematical theorem. this would obviously fall under a publicly accepted “proved Knowledge.”

    “Agreed”

    Agreed is defined as “proved Knowledge or agreed Beliefs” within a group – the “all of humanity” group, the NBL group, etc.

    (with special thanks to Henry, ulvfugl and All NBLers for inspiration, fun, and games)

  • This is EXACTLY how I feel. Thank you so very much. Are you a member of the http://www.pantheism.net Facebook group? Please join if you are not. I am new here, and I would love to see your participation.

  • As one who recognized that I was a Pantheist at a young age I Ray’s essay truly resonates with me. As he notes “this is it” and that is why I am having such a deep and profound sense of loss with the coming catastrophe. When a mans in love with nature (or a woman) there are a myriad of inspirations that con-commit with that love. Great article Ray. Thanks.
    por vous:

  • Alternet headline : “BREAKING : Shooting and Car Chase at US Capitol Distracts Attention from GOP-Induced Shutdown”

    I would offer the following as additional headlines :

    “BREAKING : Government Shutdown Distracts Attention from Rollout of ACA”

    “BREAKING : Government Shutdown and Rollout of ACA Distracts Attention from Release of IPCC Report Which Woefully Understates Imminent Extinction Threat”

    or, more generally :

    “BREAKING : Contrived Nonsense Distracts Attention from Vital Issues”

    But that’s just a coincidence. Did I mention that I’m a coincidence theorist? Everything’s just a big freaking coincidence.

    Has anyone seen an explanation of what that woman did to deserve getting gunned down in the street? I mean other than Driving While Black in the Vicinity of Pissed Off Cops Who Have to Work Without Pay. At least the baby was unharmed. Because seeing your mother blown away in a hail of gunfire doesn’t harm her at all. She’ll turn out just fine.

    Entertainment is the Opiate of the Masses.

    From someone’s recent tweet :
    When Miley Cyrus gets naked and licks a hammer it’s “music” and “art”. When I do it I’m “wasted” and “have to leave Home Depot”.

  • Dear Mo flo, hate to bring it up but seeing how Nature bats last and she has no use for blue skies, in the case of the human infestation she created, grey will most likely be her unconsciously and unknown, if human compelled, most favored new color for a few milennia. Colorless, dead new world. Nothing we think will remain, except the things we don’t. Energy, the universe, microscopic life, perhaps mammals the size of ants, or just ants?

    Grey, what matter? It will be gods and souls and spirits and nothing else. That’s real. But let’s not muddy the material waters of what we call science eh?

    Dear Dean, thanks for the clarification, something to consider further as we sit on the brink of doom.

  • Fukushima Radiation in Fish in the Pacific

    Mercury in Fish everywhere (that’s Everywhere)

    Mercury gets into the water and soil as byproducts of burning coal and other fossil fuels. Algae convert it to methylmercury and fish get it from eating the algae. Bigger fish get it from eating the smaller fish that have eaten the algae.

    I think it’s safe to say that NTE has many arrows, we are being poisoned from every direction, more and more people starve each year – but, those of us that are getting to eat are eating slow death. Not sure which I prefer.

    When you use electricity – know that you are killing yourself.

    When you pay taxes – know that you are buying bombs and those bombs are killing people and, someday, those bombs will be aimed at you.

    Even farm-raised fish are full of pesticides from agricultural runoff.

    .

  • UVL- I hope that you use your knowledge of Climate Change to battle the nutty skeptics found trolling all over the web. Do you?

  • http://www.salon.com/2013/09/30/one_meteorologist_explains_why_he_wont_fly_again/?upw
    Thank goddess for grokking NTE! Otherwise, I too would feel compelled to stop flying. Instead, since no amount of doing (or not doing) will have no effect on NTE, and since I have spent a lifetime as a relatively minimally-consuming westerner (car-free, vegetarian, blah-blah…), I am spending the next few years spending my life savings on traveling Gaia before she is no more, and settling down in a quiet refuge of my design, likely in Ecuador.
    ¡Hasta la vista, bebés!

  • @ ryan

    It’s not so much believing in any -ism. Before believing in anything, any intelligent person needs to understand what the -isms are about.

    Therefore, to gain insight the -isms are classified into categories, according to their characteristics and qualities, so Lennon could be placed into a grouping under individualism and pacifism and whatever other features can be extracted from his statements and philosophy.

    That’s what all the fighting is about. The devil is in the detail. Look at all the thousands and thousands of different Christian sects that there are and have been. They all agree there is a God, and they agree that there was Jesus, and after that they disagree about almost everything else, right down to what sort of sticks bishops should carry when they walk up the aisle in church, or which way the body should be laid in the hole when it’s buried, etc, etc.

    If we could have one overall inclusive umbrella -ism that accepted all others, that worked, I think we’d have found it by now. Nobody seems to want that.

    They want their own team, their own tribe, which they define by saying it’s ‘us’ because we are not ‘them’.
    So they make exclusive rules over issues and are willing to fight and kill and die over those things. We are right / good, so you must be wrong / bad, so we have to kill you…

    http://www.gnosis.org/wandering_bishops.htm

    @ Gail

    Good Lord, Gail, what makes you think those clueless comments worthy of posting ?

    I think he was referring to a conscience…

    People so ignorant, confused and illiterate they don’t even know what ‘a conscience’ is.

    @ mo flow

    Delightful.

    Took me to Gödel, where I got distracted by a side debate as to whether or not Wittgenstein WILLFULLY misunderstood Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, at which point I retreated, and returned to your game, to ponder whether or not I am I wilfully misunderstanding you or merely misunderstanding you, but then I found a chink of light, aha !, only to lose it again when I turned to the Third Man Argument, and found myself having to admit defeat in the face of honest perplexity.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Man_Argument#Interpretation

  • @ TIAA

    Dear Ulvfugl, I believe we get aligned,(call that love if you will) with the Universe and mother nature and we stay that way forever if we stay that way. In the realm of timelessness where dimensions alter form after death, why cling to this form? So of course it matters as Mike K insists.

    Dear TIAA,

    I hate to disagree with your warm hearted loving kindness, I find it difficult to know if I understand what you are saying or not, I have no evidence to know if you are right or wrong.

    A student asked a Zen monk, “What happens after we die?”

    And the monk responded simply, “I don’t know.”

    This upset the student quite a bit, and he said, “What do you mean you don’t know? You’re a Zen monk!”

    To which the monk replied, “Yes, I am a Zen monk, but I’m not a dead Zen monk.”

    @ Friedrich Kling

    I hope that you use your knowledge of Climate Change to battle the nutty skeptics found trolling all over the web. Do you?

    I used to, Friedrich, for the last fifteen years or so, but I concluded it to be pointless waste of time and energy. Some people can be educated a little, but entrenched belief systems don’t usually change by rational arguments, and there are far, far worse demons, look at this, it’ll over-ride all national environmental protection laws :

    The TPP is often referred to by critics as “NAFTA on steroids,” and would establishing a free-trade zone that would stretch from Vietnam to Chile, encompass 800 million people — about a third of world trade and nearly 40 percent of the global economy. While the text of the treaty has been largely negotiated behind closed doors and until June, kept secret from Congress, more than 600 corporate advisors reportedly have access to the measure, including employees of Halliburton, and Monsanto. “This is not mainly about trade,” says Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “It is a corporate trojan horse. The agreement has 29 chapters, and only five of them have to do with trade. The other 24 chapters either handcuff our domestic governments — limiting food safety, environmental standards, financial regulation, energy and climate policy — or establishing new powers for corporations.”

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #55

    Yellow butterflies
    head south along the highway
    despite northbound cars.

    @Kirk Hamilton: Aw…you’re so sweet!

  • @mo flow

    Advaita logic:
    A set cannot contain itself, therefore:

    The “Set of the Self” = {}

    …which may or may not be the same as:

    The Pyrrhonian Belief Set = {}

  • The front page is down … hopefully it’s just site maintenance. There should be a better splash page than a 404 error in that case, though.

  • With thanks to Ray, I’ve posted a new essay by Carolyn Baker. It’s here.

  • Paul – thanks for bringing up the Pyrrhonian Belief Set. from a quick glance on Wikipedia:

    “Carneades criticized the views of the Dogmatists, especially supporters of Stoicism, asserting that absolute certainty of knowledge is impossible.”

    rephrased and completely equivalent to: “Carneades believes it is Absolutely True that absolute certainty of knowledge is impossible.” (Set 9)

    have fun deciding whether that statement is a self-contradiction. if Carneades tries to evade the contradiction by putting his statement in Set 7, then he is asserting that his statement is subject to falsification, in which case it could be proved that absolute certainty of knowledge is possible, and Pyrrhonism collapses.

    as for The Set of the Self = {} would you assert that as Hypothetically True, Absolutely True or neither, and more as A Belief or as some form of Experiential Knowledge? if you only know of the statement from Advaita logic, you can still feel free to classify it.

    TIAA – Grey skies, green skies, like I said, knowledge is only considered as a stable set at this moment.

    Cat – happy trails! and happy landings. Ecuador could be wonderful if you end up there. we have looked at that possibility.

    U – glad you are enjoying the game!

    the Third Man Argument! nice. definitely going to have to think about that one before I decide where I would place it now in the Benevolent Sets.

    “to ponder whether or not I am I willfully misunderstanding you or merely misunderstanding you” – this could depend on where you would place either (or both) the statements “free will exists” and “free will does not exist”

  • Paul – here is one possible way around the contradictions inherent in belief systems like Pyronnism – define things more inclusively. this was something I mentioned awhile ago, with an example from Advaita logic.

    to play the game myself, I would make the statement: “the world is indescribable” or equivalently “the world is unreal and real” – and place it firmly in Set 8.

    to define this statement, I will simply quote from wikipedia again. it is important that the definition must be taken in its entirety – that is the only way I am making this statement and placing it in Set 8. (however, another equally valid way to play the game would be to break down the definition below into different statements, and place the statements in different positions in the Benevolent Sets. but I think finding “meta statements” like this one can be extremely useful.)

    The world is unreal and real

    The world is both unreal and real. But something can’t be both true and false at the same time; hence Adi Shankara has classified the world as indescribable.

    Adi Shankara says that the world is not real (true), it is an illusion. Adi Shankara gives the following reasoning:

    – Whatever thing remains eternal is true, and whatever is non-eternal is untrue. Since the world is created and destroyed, it is not real (true).
    – Truth is the thing which is unchanging. Since the world is changing, it is not real (false).
    – Whatever is independent of space and time is real (true), and whatever has space and time in itself is not real (false).
    – Just as one sees dreams in sleep, he sees a kind of super-dream when he is waking. The world is compared to this conscious dream.
    – The world is believed to be a superimposition of the Brahman. Superimposition cannot be real (true).

    Adi Shankara also claims that the world is not absolutely unreal (false). It appears unreal (false) only when compared to Brahman. At the empirical or pragmatic level, the world is completely real:

    – If the world were unreal (false), then with the liberation of the first living being, the world would have been annihilated. However, the world continues to exist even if a living being attains liberation. But, it is possible that no living being attained the ultimate knowledge (liberation) till now.
    – Adi Shankara believes in karma, or good actions. This is a feature of this world. So the world cannot be unreal (false).
    – The Supreme Reality Brahman is the basis of this world. The world is like its reflection. Hence the world cannot be totally unreal (false).
    – False is something which is ascribed to nonexistent things, like Sky-lotus. The world is a logical thing, a fact which is perceived by our senses and exists but is not the truth.

    The world being both unreal and real is explained by the following. A pen is placed in front of a mirror. One can see its reflection. To one’s eyes, the image of the pen is perceived. Now, what should the image be called? It cannot be true, because it is an image. The truth is the pen. It cannot be false, because it is seen by our eyes.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advaita_Vedanta#The_world_is_unreal_and_real

  • @ mo flow

    U – glad you are enjoying the game!

    Enjoying it immensely, mo flow, but for the benefit of newcomers who don’t have your depth of background knowledge and Paul’s intuition, perhaps some ground rules would be of assistance ? something along the lines of:

    Please remember to…
    1 — Dress Appropriately
    2 — Be sure not to be facing North Whilst Playing
    3 — Visit the city that care forgot dot com for the by-rules of the game.
    4 — Remember the game *ENDS* on ”Mornington Crescent” unless you are invoking the ”Mortlake” play (see by-rules).

    Yes, indeed, how the heck can anyone judge across space and time whether or not dear old Wittgenstein was understanding or misunderstanding ? Hardly anybody can understand anything he was saying as it is, let alone whether he was wilfully misunderstanding someone else who was even more difficult to understand or misunderstand…

    and if you then start to worry whether any or all of the parties involved are exercising free will.. and the observer of all this, The Third Man… well, I spent several hours deep in thought and decided to keep it very simple… but I shall not reveal to you my conclusions, because it would only complicate matters, and lead innocent game players into a miasmic vortex of cerebral implosions :-0

    Btw, what do you think of Dr Bill Tiller ? You could link that to your Limbic Resonance whatsit thing maybe ?

  • @ ulvfugl

    Thanks for your open sharing of how it is with you. I will try to reciprocate. I understand that no one arrives at this venue labeled the beach of doom by accident. However any of you here may respond to what Guy has thrown on the table, I respect your presence, as I do his challenge. Would that many more would choose to consider what is the primary concern and reality of all our lives. There is no other concern of more urgent import than how we are to deal with the colossal failure of civilization and our very possible near term extinction resulting from it. I have been brooding over this collective nightmare since my childhood, trying to understand why we are so mean to each other, why we cannot peacefully share this beautiful world but instead engage in the psychotic behavior of war and every kind of insane and evil activity instead?

    My clumsy attempt at satire was really meant to ask a simple question to Guy or others here who support his efforts: If you are certain that all human life will be extinct in the near future, why is it important to you to share this information? What will you have given someone who you awaken to this understanding? What will they have gained from your sharing this with them, considering that you have also made it clear that there is not a damn thing they can do about it? Is it not like delivering a death sentence, and saying, “Live with it”?

    In thinking about this I thought of the scene where Neo is offered the choice of the red our blue pill. The blue pill would render him ignorant of the nightmare behind his world. The red pill on the contrary would awaken him to the horror and suffering of it all, and make him fit to join the active resistance to change this dysfunctional reality for himself and others. We recall the agony he had to suffer in his purifying initiation with the rebels. But there was hope, and in spite of the seeming super powers of their enemies, the rebels fought on against impossible odds.

    What if there was another pill offered to Neo – a black pill? And then he was told, take this and you will be made awake to the nightmare of your world, but this pill will destroy all hope in you of ever changing anything for the better.

    Which pill would you take? Don’t weasel, choose!

  • @u. I haven’t had the time to follow this thread. However, toward the beginning of it I remember that you asked, “What is the difference between Ray’s form of Pantheism and Hinduism?

    Well, here’s a humble stab at a partial answer. Panthesim : Waves are the Ocean. They are the Oceans way of saying, ‘Howdy-doo’. Hinduism: We are Being. We are Being’s way of saying, ‘Howdy-doo’. But, realizing that the Oceans are a part of Being and we are a part of oceans, there isn’t any difference(?)

    I hope that makes some sense. 🙂 I’ve been studying the Oneness on my own since I happened to hear an Alan Watts lecture on the radio, maybe 25 years ago. I still don’t know a lot, but I feel blessed to have found such profound knowledge. Alan Watts was my first teacher and I literally credit him with saving me from a straight-jacketed life of conformity.

    I know that you asked something about Taoism and Ray’s essay, but my grandson is hungry and bored and I promised him Chinese take out. 🙂

  • @ F. Klink
    Seriously, Ulf is all over the place, the sheer volume of his posts here, there and everywhere point to a serious mental ilness and the content of his posts point to the self absorbed, socially isolated, sick freak, know-it-all, braggart, POS, antagonizing, moronic, etc

    I hope this doesn’t get categorized as hate speech.Oooh

  • U – thanks for introducing me to Mornington Crescent – that was one totally hilarious miasmic vortex of cerebral implosions! :p

    ground rules, eh?

    1 – Visualize Yourself in Appropriate Clothing.
    2 – No Conferring with Dolphins.
    3 – To Consult the By-Rules, take the Blue Pill. Wake Up and Believe whatever You Want to Believe. Eventually Find the Rules under your Bed scribbled on a Paper You Found at a Nightclub before you Blacked Out. Relearn all the Rules Again from the Beginning and Hope that This Time you don’t Black Out.
    4 – Whether or Not the Game Ends is decidable within the Game.

    I’ve seen Tiller mentioned in various readings, but never delved deeply into his work and never looked at his site until now. I would say his thoughts seem to be completely harmonious with the Limbic Resonance whatsit thingy. and to clarify, I only meant that particular idea as a single thread in a much larger tapestry. Tiller’s approach seems to be about a larger ensemble of similar threads weaving together.

    the Tiller video you linked was great. for his idea at the beginning that Consciousness is a by-product of Spirit entering dense matter, this sounds completely in line with Limbic Resonance and spiritual/physical evolution as I presented it.

    the analogy I immediately thought of while seeing the video was “it is all carbon.” you can have black carbon, and you can have diamond. it seems that Tiller is saying Consciousness can transform black carbon (dense matter) into Diamond/Consciousness.

    now, if one stays *within* a certain system, and using a purely physical analogy, one can say something like:

    “Consciousness is analogous to photons within a physical system, and we have carbon as an element of this system, along with the other elements, and heat, pressure, etc, and certain transformations are talking place within this system. the limbic system is influenced by Spirit entering these elements, including carbon, adding certain kinds of heat and pressure, and transforming the carbon element into diamond form, and allowing the photons of Consciousness to shine through”

    – then yes, take this physical analogy, and know it is talking about the Limbic Resonance spiritual/physical evolution thingy, and that is exactly what I was describing.

    the key thing to remember: this is all within *one* system, as I see it – and in this case Consciousness, Spirit, carbon, the elements, photons, heat and pressure are all in one sense on the same level.

    this is the biggie for me, and I am sure you get this as it has been mentioned: Consciousness has another definition that falls completely outside of any system like this, but *includes* within it any possible definition we can create.

    looking more deeply at The Tiller Model as explained on his website, this is extremely on target, I think.

    the is one major problem though, from my experience.

    Tiller talks about: the expansion of traditional science to include human consciousness and human intention as capable of significantly affecting both the properties of materials (non-living and living) and what we call “physical reality.”

    the problem here is that “human intention” is left behind almost immediately when Consciousness (in the sense Tiller is talking about) enters the picture. the source of intention becomes extremely hard to control, let alone pin down.

    Tiller hints at just one part of this problem at the end of the video – the human unconscious mind is vastly more powerful and encompasses vastly more information than the human conscious mind. of course, the human unconscious is also directly in contact with Consciousness, and can form intentions that are completely out of the human conscious picture.

    as Tiller mentions, human consciousness will use meaning to filter out the data coming from the unconscious, but I am absolutely certain that the human conscious mind can *only* do this to some degree.

    there are pretty much infinite ways the human unconscious mind can get around conscious filters if it wants to.

    now – add to this the fact of other unseen entities and influences, besides our own unconscious, could be adding information, changing data, and know that *they* might also be working within the matrix of their own conscious/unconscious systems, and you get an exceedingly strange and impossibly complex ballgame.

    “human intention” – and a whole lot more!

    fortunately, it *is* possible to work within one simpler stream at a time (or else we wouldn’t have science at all), and Tiller’s approach could bear incredible fruit.

    my thought here would just be that we need some meta-statements woven into this, along with the simpler hypotheses, giving something of a larger philosophical framework to “Psychoenergetic Science.” Tiller almost certainly has done this already, but I don’t know yet to what degree.

    as a first pass, I would propose something like:

    – “while conscious human intentions are capable of influencing physical reality, we appreciate that intentions at many other levels are also capable of influencing physical reality. we strive to narrow focus in order to test more specific hypotheses.”

  • should be: “it seems that Tiller is saying *Spirit* can transform black carbon (dense matter) into Diamond/Consciousness.”

  • @ mike k

    I don’t think I will be drawn into that Matrix analogy at all, mike, because I don’t think that rather silly movie has much resemblance to our real situation.

    I analyse the information as it comes in, much in the manner of Sun Tzu, completely dispassionately. Human sentiment and emotion is entirely irrelevant because, as explained in the Art of War, it has no bearing upon what occurs.

    That doesn’t mean that I myself, as a human being, have no sentiment or emotion. I’m very much the same as anyone else. Only that when it comes to assessing the circumstances, the information, I become entirely detached.

    I used to do this with a strategic view as to how best to proceed in the battle to ‘save’ whatever could be saved. I’ve been on forums now for more than 15 years following the war to try and stop the destruction.

    If you had been following the story, you would have realised, as Guy, Daniel, and others have done, that a point was reached where people realised that, whatever we did, we couldn’t reverse irreversible things.

    Like, the melting of the Arctic ice, which changes the climate, changes the whole ecology of the N. hemisphere.

    When I realised that, instead of viewing that as a signal to take emergency action, the mass of humans and those in power did nothing, well, that meant we are finished.

    This is, afaik, the only place on the internet where people who have had that realisation could share their experience. That’s why, people such as yourself who don’t really believe it and think there is some chance that there’s something ‘wrong’ with ‘the science’ or there’s some way of finding ‘a magic fix’ get a rough reception.

    The thing is, we don’t get an instant end, like hitting a wall in a car doing 100 mph.
    We get some sort of gradient over time, and although people have tried to estimate how the future will look by plotting various scenarios, it’s impossible to get exact precision.

    What we can be certain of, IMO, is that somewhere between now and, say, 2150, the planet becomes uninhabitable for most of the lifeforms presently existing.

    So, somewhere between now and then, I expect to see H. sapiens population crash and then disappear.

    Most people don’t agree with me, but not because they have any ‘answers’, but because they do not want to agree. I can understand that, and I don’t think there is very much point in trying to argue with them to change their minds, certainly not elsewhere than on this blog, because, as you say, what’s the point, if it will make no difference ?

    Personally I want the most accurate assessment I can possibly get. This is very hard work, because it’s impossible to get anything reliable and worthwhile from politicians or the mainstream media, or organs like the IPPC or any large official bodies, because they all have vested interests and are basically clueless.

    Every single day new evidence comes in which makes it clearer as to what our fate will be and what the future will look like. This means that every day I have to update my mental model and adjust the picture. Very few people do this, one other person being Dr McPherson on the Climate Summary page. But that’s only for climate. There’s a heck of a lot of other stuff to consider.

    Once a person accepts that there is going to be a mass extinction event, and that this is now unavoidable, then what does one do ? I mean, first comes the personal subjective response which is impossible really to put into or contain in any words.

    But then what ? There is no prescribed reaction, as per your pills, because this is unprecedented in all of human history. Everybody will have to find their own path, I think.
    It’s not for me to say. I have written about it elsewhere. My posts here every day are my personal response.

    http://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/2013/09/07/building-inner-strength-in-chaotic-times/

    http://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/2013/09/20/a-crumbling-cultural-story-in-a-period-of-near-term-extinction/

    In the immediate short term, we are seeing the worst possible reaction from the power elite, trans-national corporate fascism where the bankers and the big multinationals conspire to mine what remains of the natural world to destruction, and pollute and exploit everything in a race to grab whatever is left.

    The proposed TPP Pacific trade zone and the TTIP, TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, between USA and EU, are obvious moves to avoid all National and democratic control over corporate rape and pillage of everything. Pretty much letting the Mafia run the global economy for their own enrichment. Anybody who tries to stop them will be ‘a terrorist’. Can that be prevented ? I doubt it, but eventually that mad Machine will have eaten everything there is to eat, and will die, along with everything else.

    I mean, who has the power to close down Halliburton, Monsanto, Exxon, Citibank, HSBC, Barclays, Santander, etc ? The bankers finance the corporations, and the corporations are like ravenous beasts, they will devour any resource they can find that will give them a profit and pay off the bankers.

    So, the answer to your question about hope, and changing things for the better.

    Personally, for me, ulvfugl, I am long past that stage. You and others can seek refuge with Carolyn and her counselling. I’ve been through all that, bought the bloody T shirt, wore it out.

    There is no ‘hope’ when there is an irreversible change. For example, once the oceans are acidified, there is no way to return them to their previous condition. They will become anoxic dead zones. That is what is happening. So what are you going to ‘hope’ for ?

    There is no ‘hope’ when the climate is destabilised. That has already happened. It will not return to it’s previous state even if we could reduce CO2 and return the levels to what they were. It will take 80 to a 100 thousand years before it re-stabilises (according to Tad Patzek).

    There is no ‘hope’ when you look at the graphs and see what is happening to CO2 and methane and temperature, and see this on a geological time scale, and realise that the speed that the change is occurring has never happened before in the entire history of this planet, except when there has been an asteroid strike or a supervolcanic eruption and a mass extinction event.

    So your ‘changing things for the better’ as far as I am concerned, is just a fantasy that you are telling yourself, because you do not want to face these horrible facts.

    And remember, that these are just a sample from the long, long list.

    I also do not want to face these horrible facts. But SOMEONE has to do it. EVERYONE is telling lies to themselves and to each other. If you want to tell white lies to your children, that’s fine. But this is a place for adults, and for telling the truth, in so far as that is possible.

  • @ Kirk Hamilton

    Thanks for throwing something at that 🙂
    I could have given my own answers but I hoped someone else would have a go. I think it mostly comes down to differences in words and language.

    The first quotation records the experience of Mawlana Jalalad Din Rumi. The term !Supreme Realtiy” is to be replaced by “God” in the original passage. This Muslim master teaches that in the moment of supreme spiritual fulfilment, the aspirant and God is one; there is nothing besides God.

    He also teaches that the mind must be emptied of thoughts, and the heart emptied of shame if anyone is to attain this highrest fulfilment. If we substitute the term “God” with “the Tathagata” – both of which are respectively Muslim and Buddhist terms for the Supreme Reality – the above poem can easily be taken as a Buddhist gatha.

    The second quotation records the ecstatic spiritual experience of Saint Benedict. It is similar to an enlightenment experience of a Buddhist master, in which he perceives the whole world in celestial light, and directly experiences that he expands to become the universe.

    In the third quotation, Patanjali, the father of yoga, describes the highest accomplishment of a yogi when his atman attains union with Brahman, the Hindu term for the Supreme Reality. This quotation reads exactly like a Buddhist text, especially when “life and death” in the quotation above is replaced by “karma” as in the original.

    When the aspirant attains his highest spiritual fulfilment, he realizes that all the objects that he earlier perceived with his senses, are actually nothing, because ultimate reality is unobstructed and pure. This is exactly the same as saying, in Buddhist vocabulary, the enlightened being realizes that phenomena are illusory because ultimate reality is undifferentiated and tranquil.

    The fourth quotation is taken from a Taoist classic, “The True Teaching on Cosmic Nature” by Ji Yi Zi. The expression “life and death cease” and “the Supreme Reality” in the above quotation are replaced by “the cycle of rebirth ceases” and “Tao” respectively in the original. The Real Mind means the Universal Mind.

    The Taoist master explains that in the Universal Mind or Ultimate Reality, there is no thought; when thought ceases, the cycle of rebirth ceases; in his highest spiritual attainment, he experiences that the Ultimate Reality is emptiness, devoid of all phenomena; phenomena appear to us in our ordinary consciousness because of the primodial principle, which in Buddhism is described as the principle of dependent origination (to be explained in a later chapter).

    He mentions a great cosmic truth that is often exphasized in Zen Buddhism, i.e. when he attains the highest spiritual fulfilment, it is returning to his original self. In Zen vocabulary, it is expressed as when one attains Enlightenment, it is actualizing his original Buddha nature. Both statements mean the same thing: when we are enlightened, we realize that our individual bodies and individual souls are an illusion; in reality we are the universe! <<

    It is obvious that all the great masters of different religions say the same Truth. Personally, this is one of the most beautiful lessons I have in my many years of training.

    http://www.wongkiewkit.com/forum/showthread.php?10776-Zen-10-questions-to-the-Grandmaster&p=113521#post113521

  • @ mo flow

    Thanks for the fun 🙂

    Not sure what I think of Tiller really, those sentient spheres or spheres with intent, or whatever they are, sound wacky to me, but I think we are desperately in need of a new cosmology, he may be on the right track ?

    Seems to me the internet is now a warzone. We are going to be forced to take sides, whether we like it or not.

    I loathe and fear the Christian Dominionists who I see as evil, and I also hate the atheist materialists and their scientism, especially in their aggressive Talibanesque witch hunting version, e.g. attacking Sheldrake, which I see as extremely sinister.

    http://sciencesetfree.tumblr.com/post/63184238054/wikipedia-under-threat

    I’ve been trying to hold the middle ground between the scientists and the mystics, between logos and mythos, between left brain and right brain, which I can do fairly successfully, because I have to do it in my own being.

    But when the battle becomes even more extreme and polarised, then there’s a limit to how far compromise can be stretched, I think.

    That’s why we urgently need a new cosmology which can give a complete healthy happy human being ( i.e. not a meat robot ) a meaningful position, on a sacred and enchanted planet in a meaningful Universe which conforms with the scientific method and scientific evidence…

    Tiller might have that, although I am not convinced, and I’m not convinced by his definition of chi either.

    Orchestra Baobab

  • @ piddles

    Please take a seat over there, the psychiatric nurse will see to you shortly.

  • U – my pleasure. 🙂

    keep striving. some yeats for breakfast?

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    pendulums? becoming like our worst enemies? becoming what we fear the most?

    fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate…

    i don’t know, pick your favorite cliché. all stories are ended. all clichés are now clichés of themselves.

    but still, seeing something go as far as indicated in your link there – I am shocked, but ultimately not surprised. what no one seems to get is that the error is never in the belief, it is *always* in human nature. atheist materialists are just as human as the rest of us, and just as prone to all error. belief can be used to cloak any dagger.

    myself, I have been quite surprised at just what level of rage I have sometimes felt surging when I have seen the materialist BS taken to extremes. I have told myself – no, the atheist materialists could never become as extreme as the inquisition, so why would my rage alarm be going off?

    and then I see such behavior as illustrated at your link, and I think I know why.

    still, keep striving. fight to hold the middle ground. you couldn’t be more right about that. we need a new cosmology.

    my own feeling is the extremes will exhaust themselves. how much of everything else they will take down in the meantime is anyone’s guess. the fight is to limit the damage until then, and give as much of a hearing to people like Tiller as possible until such ideas can take larger hold.

    but then of course, none of that matters anymore, does it? still, fight on, just because.

  • Puddles of Fun:

    Easy now, trigger. UVL and I have moved into a period of detente to avoid MAD.

  • @ Friedrich Kling

    Re detente. I respect your good qualities, work to conserve forests, etc. and recognise your compelling need to tell us about your beliefs re the aliens, etc. You’ve done that. I’ve listened. I respect your position. It’s a fascinating area. Please don’t tell us more here unless there is some HARD evidence to report, and then a URL will suffice, because there are many other sites which are fully devoted to that topic. Then we can maintain accord.

    As I see it, the problem we all have, globalisation means incompatible worldviews collide. I welcome yours, Friedrich, because it’s such a challenge to accommodate.

    ————

    In the link I posted above to Shaolin Wahnam Institute forum the buddhists, hindus, taoists, are all easy going and tolerant about other religions and other views and about science, too, and I can’t imagine pantheists getting enraged about any of those three religions.

    However, there’s a big problem with some of the other belief systems. The Christian Dominionists, as I understand it, have it written into their agenda to eradicate ALL other beliefs, because that’s a condition for the Second Coming.

    And likewise some of the Islamists, though not all, see their religion in a similar way. And then the new atheist materialists following Dawkins are on a sort of ‘anti-crusade’ to annihilate God, in the name of science, which has, of course, got absolutely nothing to do with science in the true sense of the word, but is about the ideology called scientism.

    And then we have Marxism, and Capitalism, and Neoliberalism, and Socialism, etc, and the many varying brands of Christianity which rarely get heard, and many other faiths and belief systems, and the great mass of more or less secular folk who are just muddled and get along believing a bit of this and bit of that…

    This is what postmodernism was about, when meanings and beliefs collide, and mingle, and you get crazy mixtures. The Tower of Babel. It’s easy to see in music, and often a fertile and exciting hybridisation, e.g. jazz, but some people get very angry and threatened when their ‘pure’ cultural tradition gets eaten by some new invasive species.

    Trouble is, there’s very little anyone can do about this, other than observe. If young people like Elvis or Bob Dylan, laws to ban them just make them even more attractive. The Nazis made jazz illegal. Same for religious beliefs and so forth. The Romans threw Christians to the lions, the Christians burned the witches and the alchemists, the Communists banned poets and novelists, people in power are always trying to suppress ideas they fear and dislike.

    I’m strongly in support of science, and of Sheldrake, because what Sheldrake wants is for science to be true to its own highest principles. The problem is that Sheldrake is an Anglican Christian, and although they are very relaxed about most things, they believe in their particular version of God, and that’s unacceptable to the neo-atheists, the disciples of Dawkins, who want him burned at the stake as a heretic because he doesn’t follow the dogma of scientism but wants science with greater integrity.

    The problem I have, if I support Sheldrake (whom I know via mutual friends, and know to be eminently decent and noble) and open the door to that Christian God of his, does that allow a gap for the raging nutcase psychopathic God of the Dominionists who want to nuke Eyeran for Jesus so we can have Armageddon and the Rapture ? Fuck that.

    But if I don’t support Sheldrake, I’m giving in to the bigotted neo-nazi thugs from the Believe Dawkins or Die brigade, who are just as bad.

    http://mythodrome.net/is-science-worth-keeping

    What happens, historically, is that civil wars are fought over these issues, both on the macro scale, in countries, and on the micro scale in families, and even more pertinent, on the personal scale, in one’s own head. Them or us.

    You, as an individual, have to decide where you stand. With Hitler or with the Jews. With Cromwell or with the King. With the Lincoln or with the Confederates. With USA or with Russia. With God or with Mammon.
    So, you try to resolve the dilemma by logic, by listing the pros and cons.

    But what if that doesn’t work and leaves you feeling very troubled and unhappy ? Because, the heart of the conflict is internal, built into your very physiological structure, that the left hemisphere and right hemisphere of your brain are basically incompatible and want different worldviews ?

    Then the only way is up, so to speak, to rise up a level. Instead of being an ant in the ant heap, take the dragonfly view of what’s going on. That’s Nietzsche, on the mountain top looking down, it’s Jung, it’s Gurdjieff, it’s Krishnamurti…

    “When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.” – J. Krishnamurti

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Objectively_Impartial_Criticism_of_the_Life_of_Man#Overview

  • “When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.” – J. Krishnamurti

    True. So I thank Ray for his elucidation of pantheism. I have for quite some time been groping for a term that pantheism probably trumps. The Religion of Planet Earth? Naah. It is about that ball of cosmic dust called Earth. The whole Earth and nothing but the Earth. All the rivers, all the streams, the oceans as a single entity, everything together all at once. These concerns might not overthrow other self-defining categorizations, but Earth citizenship can invade them like a cloud.

  • Librarian Says:
    October 3rd, 2013 at 3:28 am
    “Nobody ever has a snowball’s chance in Hell of convincing me” is exactly the PROBLEM here.
    Critical thinking is a slowness to believe and a slowness to disbelieve, and a willingness and readiness to “weigh and consider” (without necessarily accepting).
    There’s a difference between “you haven’t convinced me” versus “you will NEVER convince me”; the former means you considered it first and then rejected it, while the latter means your mind is made up and you’ll never weigh or consider anything else.

    Beautifully expressed. I love it. It’s where I am at. I have a lady friend (no romantic thing between us) who engages in lengthy rants on a variety of subjects, and finally winds down, allowing me a little sliver of space to make a response. That response is carefully crafted by me not to directly oppose anything she has said (my training in Aikido?) but to still hint that I am not 110% on board with her ideas. She then quickly interrupts me saying, “You are not hearing me.” She will make gestures of frustration designed to convey to me that I must be really dense, and add, “You just don’t understand what I am saying!” When I respond, “Yes, I hear you and understand exactly what you are saying, but I just happen to disagree” she will get angry and repeat her whole rant over with additional embellishments for emphasis, and end with a penetrating
    stare at me that says, “Don’t you dare to tell me now that you do not endorse every word I have said, or I will have to conclude that you are simply disagreeing with me in order to provoke me.”
    If this was merely an idiosyncratic circumstance in my personal life, it would not be of much interest. But is only the tip of that giant problem I categorize as the tower of Babel, our failure to deeply communicate with each other. The above example I see multiplied in the online and live discussion groups I participate in. I think these groups in their evolved form are one necessary part of a larger process of remaking ourselves that will be necessary to grow positively in any kind of future context that may arise. It would pay us to be aware that we may often enact being fundamentalists of our own ego’s basic perceptions and understandings, disregarding the possible value of other’s perspectives, and insisting that they either agree totally with us, or risk being banished to the realm of idiot nonpersons.

    @ Ulvfugl – The more you have shared your spiritual journey, the more I feel I am getting to know you and like you. There are many things we have in common, and I feel that if we had time to spend face to face, we would be enriched by that encounter. Sharing in print is a different affair, and we all have to learn to do that if we choose to explore its possibilities for mutual growth.

    I am not going to defend The Matrix as a work of art. De gustibus non est disputandum. I try to use everything as catalysts for my own inner self-creation. Others have seen the movie as a metaphor for our very real(?) world of meat-robot zombies being manipulated by a (to them) hidden elite.

    In my own journey I have developed a worldview, as open as it is to frequent correction and revision. As a child in the 1930’s I developed a passion for science. I was precocious intellectually; by the fourth grade I was cracking my head on Bertrand Russell’s book The ABC’s of Relativity. Late I embraced his Why I am not a Christian, in addition to soaking up Freud’s Future of an Illusion, and other material to bolster what became a stance of militant atheism. This only whetted my thirst for “real” knowledge, and I immersed myself more and more into physics, advanced math, cosmology, etc.

    To shorten a personal history that could get too long, I picked up a book by D.T. Suzuki in 1961 called The Way of Zen or some such, and began a long journey of study and practice that still continues.
    You have shared that an experience on an acid trip shook your then understanding of what was possible. I eventually had a few of such experiences, culminating in one that came as a result of intensive Sufi practices over a period of years, that told me decisively that I knew nothing of the real nature of my experience, and revealed a vista of previously unseen reality that I am still trying to absorb. This is the deep basis for my certainty that there is no certain knowledge of the basis and destiny of this mysterious adventure we call life. (Reminds me of Russell’s exploration of paradoxes such as the Cretan who said all Cretans were liars. Was he being truthful or not?)

    No God as a “Person”? Don’t be too sure. Read Sri Aurobindo. He expresses beautifully how this is. His experience coincides with mine perfectly. Unfortunately realities such as this must be experienced in the extraordinary states that make such knowing a possibility. Those authentic and unclouded states take a much longer practice to evoke than taking a few hits of acid can provide. And there resides one of the real problems in ever awakening a substantial number of people. To find ways to shorten that path is one question some of us are spending time on…

    Ulvfugl, it is a pleasure to converse with you; I find it even, or should I say especially fruitful for me to discuss the points we disagree on. It is fortunate that there exist persons like yourself and others on this site who seek to understand our mysterious world and learn to somehow love it and help it, in spite of its difficult and trying aspects.

  • OK. I can’t resist offering one more pill to potential Neo’s. Even though this one may only be for madmen only, as the sign over the entrance to Hesse’s magic theater in his novel Steppenwolf read. Lets call this the purple pill! Should have some appeal due to all the TV ads for its likeness. One taking this pill will gain entrance to the paths of transcendence, which are kinda like trans-quantum realities that nevertheless underlie the more familiar surface reality.
    Things considered impossible in ordinary reality become doable in this deeper realm. One taking this pill has concluded that on the level of ordinary means we are cooked, finished. So now our Neo wannabees have another potion option to puzzle over, but remember that the instructions on the box say, beware of mixing pills!

  • Dear mike k,

    Thanks for all that, but I do have to say I share your lady friend’s “You are not hearing me.” sentiment, hahaha. But I do try to listen to what you are saying.

    Look, that mention of an acid trip was when I was 17, when it gave me full and convincing experiences that the materialist paradigm of reality that I had been taught simply had to be incorrect.

    Of course, all sorts of wizardry is possible in ‘the deeper realm’, I’m a goddamn shaman, ffs, I know about this stuff. You’re preaching to the converted.

    But what I’m trying to get across to you is that all the deeper realm stuff counts for absolutely NOTHING without a material physical realm, because we are biological creatures, animals, we need clean water, proper food, a healthy environment, on a viable planet. And THAT is what we are losing. We know that because of the SCIENCE.

    Not many people are capable of mastering these twin roles. I happen to be one of the few. I seem to spend most of my time trying to explain science to loony mystics, and mysticism to loony scientists, and both sides throw rocks at me for doing it.

    This is a terribly tragic state of affairs. On the next thread is a link to Bob Geldof saying we shall be extinct by 2030. All of the comments are jeering derision of Geldof and abuse of the stupidity of climate science and so on.

    Whose fault is this ?

    Well, its the idiocy of the scientists and fanatics like Dawkins, who tell everyone who doesn’t agree with them that they are intellectually deficient.

    But who GOT US INTO THIS MESS ? Who invented and built all the crap, the nuclear plant, the nuclear bombs, the missiles and the planes and cars and all the rest ? Those scientists in their flashy hi tech laboratories with their billion dollar super colliders and billion dollar space satellites and NASA supercomputers spying on everybody, are now telling ordinary poorly educated and poorly paid powerless people that THEY and their children are going to have to die ? After decades of promising them their own private flying fucking car ?

    And the world view, the cosmology that science and capitalism and materialism has promoted is SO HORRIBLE, a grim, meaningless, pointless Universe. Is it any wonder that people despair, and turn to wanting ‘stuff’, drugs, over eating, alcohol, violence, suicide, or to a religion that says ‘Jesus loves you and will rapture you up to Heaven’ ?

    If the scientists would stop being so arrogant and superior and realise THEY are the problem, just as much as the religious fundamentalists, we might make some progress. Except that it’s too effing late.

    But then you lot, mike k, the mystics, who think that somehow spirituality can over-ride physics and biology, are just batshit crazy. I’ve been through all this with Ozman, who made the famous statement that he didn’t believe Guy’s science because his dreams told him different. This is exactly the sort of nonsense we heard from you the other day, that there are no facts, only interpretations.

    That is simply not how the world and this Universe works. I mean, seriously. You can’t tell some mother whose little girl has just been killed by a reckless driver, that it didn’t happen because your dreams tell you differently or that there are no facts, only interpretations.

    The wild rhinos and elephants and lions and much else are being hunted to extinction, this is a fact. 90% of the large fish of the ocean have gone. Woolly minded bullshit does not help them.

    The people who are responsible for trashing the planet, the bankers and corporate CEOs are ruthless and hard-headed, absolutely dedicated to the pursuit of power and money, they just snigger in disbelief when they hear people like you, because you are suckers, so easy to exploit, so easy to fool.

    Me, I despair. Guy has been giving these video lectures for years, nobody seems to actually hear what he fucking SAYS.

  • mike k – purple pill please! oh gimme gimme gimme! 🙂 personally, I love The Matrix movies. they draw from an astounding array of sources, which in itself is quite fun.

    very funny story about your lady friend. I always keep in mind that being in the realm of idiot nonpersons is actually a good thing. leaves more potential room for “frequent correction and revision,” don’t you think?

    tremendously interesting to learn more of your personal story. (even though this was directed at ulvfugl, I will elbow in for a few comments – hope you don’t mind.) you have probably seen by now just how much your story and mine resonate, and that’s why it is so fun to hear more. you and I have touched on many similar bases, it seems, in the arc of things.

    this -> “I eventually had a few of such experiences, culminating in one that came as a result of intensive Sufi practices over a period of years, that told me decisively that I knew nothing of the real nature of my experience, and revealed a vista of previously unseen reality that I am still trying to absorb.”

    i have some knowledge of the Sufis and their practices, experiences and understandings, but I have done no specific Sufi practice as intensively as you have. you have no idea how badly I would love to hear more of about the “vista of previously unseen reality” that you are still trying to absorb! again, this kind of path parallels so many things I can relate to.

    but, I certainly am not asking you to share anything like that here. like ulvfugl says, we don’t want to be stirring up the miasmic vortices too much, and of course, for many other reasons. if is just simply wonderful hearing about merely the existence similar experiences, here on the beach…

  • @ mile k,

    Also trying to edge into your conversation with U.

    U is trying to get the mystics and physicalists in balance. A worthy challenge.

    I offer yet again a distinction: There is the physical world defined by “Newtonian physics.” I’d prefer to take U at his word that this physical world is not immune from the laws (?) of quantum physics, but so subtly so as not to matter. (But if rain dances didn’t work a significant portion of the time, would they go on for thousands of years?).

    Then there is the inner world of people. This is the world where people undergoing a great emergency pull together. This pulling together usually lasts a short time, and then it’s back to the old ways. It seems possible (although I hope I can leave the how for later) that this state of emergency response could be extended to last longer. So, my conjecture (a very tentative one) is that the common people can pull together more or less for an extended period of time under unusual circumstances.

    Where my conjecture is even more tentative concerns whether or not, to what degree, or under what circumstances TPTB can change direction away from homicide and suicide.

    So if nuclear plants are set to melt down as economic and physical climate change, allowing this to happen lies in the realm of the inner world, not nearly so much the outer physical world. TPTB should be smart enough to know that nuclear plants melting down is not good for them. It is therefore possible for TPTB to decommission nuclear plants. Considering radiation to be the most immediate and deadly threat to survival, the possibility (forget the likelihood) of shutting them down indicates the further possibility of changes of all sorts regarding land use, deforestation, the ocean, whatever–all of which could impact life’s ability to survive the physical changes that are deemed to be irreversible and immune to the power of the inner world.

    Holding to this position is, I think, logical if not reasonable. There is no reasonable way to respond to the end of life; that is beyond reason entirely. I reject NTE for the fact of its being reasonable.

  • Puddles of Fun:

    You are right. Forgive my momentary weakness. I have ramped back up to DEFCOM 4.

    UVL:

    Who do you think you are? You might be able to dictate to me on your web site, but not here. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I will not get fooled again.

  • @ Artleads

    As per usual, you completely misunderstand what I am saying, because you have not been following the discussion, which goes back a long way.

    I am not interested in trying to get the mystics and physicalists in balance.

    As far as I am concerned this should be a scientifically based blog, a secular zone.

    The only reason that anything spiritual has any bearing is because, in the face of NTE, people are going to crack up, and that’s a spiritual issue, so matters regarding the meaning of existence and whether or not there is a purpose to life and so forth are unavoidable.

    Given that we don’t seem to be able to avoid NTE, and we’re stuck here on the Beach of Doom, and we are a very mixed bunch, the fundamental divide between mythos and logos, between religion and science, crops up almost every day, and so I try to explain it to people, so they can see that there is a resolution.

    With little success, I might add, because most people don’t want a resolution, they prefer the fight.

    A lot of people, including you, seem very confused about the nature of, for want of a better word, ‘reality’.

    It’s an extremely difficult and complicated area, and there is, ultimately, no consensus, just competing schools of thought, and so the debate continues and cannot be settled.

    @ Friedrich Kling

    You see it as a moment of weakness ? I see it as a moment of sanity.

    It’s obvious that you are not able to think critically, or even clearly and analytically, because you already see this in terms of some sort of war.

    If you think that you benefit yourself or this blog by posting all the insane shit about aliens that you can find, then go ahead with your ridiculous obsessive trolling and see how you received.

  • @ Artleads

    You asked about TPTB

    The goal is control. They want all of us enslaved to debt, they want all of our governments enslaved to debt, and they want all of our politicians addicted to the huge financial contributions that they funnel into their campaigns. Since the elite also own all of the big media companies, the mainstream media never lets us in on the secret that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way that our system works.

    Remember, this is not some “conspiracy theorist” that is saying these things. This is a Yale-educated attorney that worked inside the World Bank for more than two decades.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/world-bank-whistleblower-reveals-how-the-global-elite-rule-the-world/5353130

  • Thanks U. I appreciate the polite response. I learn from you and I learn from Guy. I know you will keep up the good work. There’s a lot to disagree about, but that will happen, I suppose, one day at a time.

  • I would like to repeat this, because I think it is such an excellent summary from ulvfugl:

    “That’s why we urgently need a new cosmology which can give a complete healthy happy human being ( i.e. not a meat robot ) a meaningful position, on a sacred and enchanted planet in a meaningful Universe which conforms with the scientific method and scientific evidence…”

  • @ mo flow

    Thanks, but it’s very much wishful thinking on my part, because it’s probably an impossible task. But I can envisage it in outline.

    All tribes, cultures, have origin, creation myths. We don’t need to concern ourselves with the ultimate truth or accuracy of them, for the moment, just the fact that they are universal and presumably perform a vital function.
    I’d suggest the vital function is to orientate the human animal, in time and space.

    You know, anybody who has taken a really heavy duty psychedelic, that strips away every bit of culturally conditioned learning and knowing, knows it’s the scariest experience possible. A person needs to know who they are and where they are and what they are doing, so their existence makes some sense.

    So, we tell ourselves stories, and those have to be embedded in larger stories, like why does anything exist, where did it all come from, etc.
    A cosmological myth.

    So far, so good. I think this all fits standard anthropology. But then along comes science, and we get a problem, because science destroys the ancient origin myths, and then people mistake the scientific project for a new cosmological origin myth.

    Science was never intended to be a substitute origin myth. It was a completely different animal. And, the way science happened to develop has left us with a science with certain characteristics which I’ve mentioned before, Cartesian Paradigm, materialism, etc.

    So when people look to science for their substitute tribal cosmology and origin myth, they are rather hurt and disappointed. I keep reading examples of this, from people who don’t understand what science is. E.g. they get upset that science keeps changing. I mean, they want a FIXED story, they want something stable to hold onto.

    Anyway, rather than write a whole essay here, I think Sheldrake / McKenna found the key to this. Many scientists and materialists believe that everything spiritual and religious can be discarded because, in principle, everything can be explained by physics.

    But their position collapses, with the question, why is there anything at all ?
    As Sheldrake / Mckenna said, they want just one free miracle, and THEN everything can be explained by physics.

    So, we are really right back to the beginning, the origin, the creation myth.

    The ultimate source remains unfathomable mystery. What we need is a story which places a happy healthy human being at the centre, so that a person can think the story through and orientate themselves, and FEEL OKAY.

    Not because it makes sense in terms of physics, but because it makes sense in terms of being a human being, because that’s what we are….

    I’d like a story that went the Deep Ecology route. But I really don’t know how to do this. You know, it’s like inventing a new religion or writing an Ursula le Guin novel, and we’ve already got enough religions and novels, if they were going problems they’d have done it, just that I think about these things as I wander and wonder upon the Beach….

    http://www.realitysandwich.com/power_active_consciousness

  • Karen Hudes

    https://youtu.be/Ahr7cQGHOBY

    What surprised me is not how nefarious the banks are, but how Hudes, BRIC nations and others have been able to counter them.

  • @ Artleads

    They haven’t. Nothing has changed. Yet.

  • @ mo flo & ulvfugl — ““That’s why we urgently need a new cosmology which can give a complete healthy happy human being ( i.e. not a meat robot ) a meaningful position, on a sacred and enchanted planet in a meaningful Universe which conforms with the scientific method and scientific evidence…”

    I only have a minute or two before my bedtime, but I wonder if either of you have read Ken Wilber? He attempts this synthesis with his four quadrant schema. Sri Aurobindo comes from another angle in his Synthesis of Yoga. Purusha, the ultimately subtle nature of Spirit is eternally entwined like a cosmic DNA in its intimate dance with Prakriti, form, substance, persistent glue of manifestation. Every occasion in reality involves both of these partners. Trying to posit or explain one without the other is a futile speculation. They are co-equal aspects of every occasion.

    Wilber’s cosmology attempts to include all significant truths in every field of human enquiry in a meaningful holism. Both Wilber and Aurobindo have been major teachers for me, but of course I am not a follower of any teacher, including myself!

  • @ mike k

    Yes, I’ve read both, not enthusiastic about either.

    Teachers from the past, I favour Bankei.

    Teachers in the present… that’s very difficult. I’m here because I think this IS the cutting edge. Everybody else catches up later. Too late.

    Re your ‘hope for a better world’, I wonder if you can think of just one metric which shows anything getting better over the last 5 years ?

    I cannot think of a single thing. As I see it, all trends indicate we’re on worst case trajectory towards mass extinction event.

  • “Re your ‘hope for a better world’, I wonder if you can think of just one metric which shows anything getting better over the last 5 years ?

    I cannot think of a single thing. As I see it, all trends indicate we’re on worst case trajectory towards mass extinction event.”

    Does having the kinds of concerns that lead people to NBL count as something better? Would there have been 2 thousand people viewing a site like this 5 years ago?

    If a critical mass of aware humans can form, even as the physical world collapses, does that count for improvement? Everyone changes once a critical mass emerges“““““, I have heard. Without that critical mass, NTE would have occurred anyway. So isn’t the critical mass that could well be forming be something “better?”

  • @ Artleads

    You don’t understand most of what people discuss here.

    The people who arrive here, in the main, are people who are resigned to the fact that there is no way to avoid Near Term Extinction.

    You are one of the people who still grasps at straws and imagines there must be some magic door somewhere. That’s why people get pissed off with your comments.

    What difference does it make if there are a million people here ? It just means we’ll be overwhelmed with crazies. It won’t make any difference to what happens out there in the East Siberian Sea or to the Antarctic or to the ocean currents.

    You inhabit your own private world of wishful thinking and fantasy. You’re entitled to do that, but the basis of this blog is Guy’s lectures which are about the science, the hard assessment of the real situation, not what anyone would WISH it to be.