SGMS

Scientific-Gnosticism Memetic-Shamanism

Archive for March, 2010

Inner Game Series Interview

Published by under Uncategorized on March 11, 2010

Background: It is very important to place these interviews in context. I was asked to provide some information that might help average guys make their way in the world and improve their love-life. Though this was my first interview and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, I hope this sharing of my experiences helps others on their journey. Though I’m sure it’s unavoidable I want to try my best to keep the truth I’ve spoken from being twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools.

It’s important to note that I came from a background of being hyper-nerdy. I was such an outcast during childhood and adolescence that in fourth grade I was never called by my name by other children, just “different”. I had almost or precisely zero friends and I very likely walked a little funny. I just couldn’t handle any social situation because I was unaware of how the social hierarchy game worked. How people get pushed around and passed over. I was so unaware of how the game was played (a game natural and unconscious to most) that I allowed verbal abuse etc. Eventually along a number of years I started to figure it out.

In the IT and programming business you meet a lot of socially-inept (read as innocent and loving) people. Unfortunately while working in that business, I saw how the most brilliant and hard working people shared that same passed-over, marginalized fate. The innovators and creators in a business usually made the least and were quickly gotten rid of. The biggest contributors were the least appreciated. It’s because self-doubt is required to build knowledge (and be intelligent) but in the the social arena self-doubt is an admission of lesser value.

I vowed to find a way to help those who were intelligent and humble learn to use the social cues of the sharks to help our group get the funding and recognition we deserve. But, of course, to also know how to keep from just switching sides. To teach the sheep/the producers who band together for protection, who are fed upon, to look dangerous to the wolves.

…To be a sheep in wolves clothing

Part 1:

One of the subjects covered here is overconsideration as a cowardly instead of considerate act. A person can perform a single act for two very different reasons. When you do things because you are afriad to make people angry or dislike you, then you are cowardly. If you do something to make their life better it is considerate.  If you can’t take the 5-10 seconds required to make sure your order is right before driving away from the drive-thru then it’s pretty certain you are acting on cowardice. You’re being controlled.

This is very much like why a woman doesn’t like flower received from her request but loves them if they are a surprise. The intent: to placate versus enrich. A person will often like someone who will argue with them or offend them and risk being disliked because their intent is revealed as honest. A woman (while angry at first) may feel more loved by the honest and gentle truth that, “yes, that dress does make you look a little heavier, lets try a different dress”. Instead of the constant monotone of “You look great” of a person trying to dishonestly placate. A liar.

Part 2:

In this section I try to explain how to help eliminate guilt so that a person can move forward into change. Unfortunately I forgot to mention why. Guilt inevitably leads to denial. You cannot fix a problem that you refuse to believe exists. How can you admit even more wrong when you already feel you are bad/worthless as it is. Admitting more badness feels unbearable. By separating our “intent” selves from the problematic past actor we can see how we were somewhat innocently screwing up. Once we see how and why we screw up we can work on a plan of action to change. This is very much what paul was talking about in the new testament: Romans 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (sin nature=monkey instincts)

Part 3:

I try to explain how a child feels like a guilty outsider from a lack of forgiveness but get a little derailed apparently. I then try to explain how we may carry out complex behaviors we are unaware of. What I am attempting to communicate is a continuation of the earlier conversation in that by seeing that we have many possibly motivators for our actions we can start to undo our self delusions and look at ourselves objectively. Through this looking glass we can better recognize how instincts and other complex situations might have overwhelmed our conscious mind. We can be on the lookout in the future for similar situations and better control ourself through sidestepping similar situations or by planning to take a different action next time.

Part 4:

After re-watching this I suddenly realized I was teaching another very christian message. Almost an “All have sinned and come short of the glory of god” message about our intrisic nature and how our instincts lead us astray. You’ll find that the removal of guilt granted by forgiveness in christianity I find to be a mechanism for real change. By eliminating guilt we short-circuit a survival mechanism which would lead to more self-centered, bad behavior and more guilt.

Part 5

In this section I try to reveal how fault etc is somewhat of an illusion. Accepting the factual nature of your missteps while understanding the irrelevancy of fault. Seeing mistakes as a step in the right direction when recognized, even though they did harm the lesson ensures a brighter future. Also recognizing that we are all just silly monkeys running into eachother with sharp objects. Unfortunately I must also qualify the section with a further bit of balance. You must be aware that perfect forgiveness is pacifism. Perfect forgiveness is a mistake of balance and is a way of death. We cannot allow others to take everything from us. There are those who will take an unlimited amount from us and while we should not hate them or even judge them, we should avoid them. A very good instance of this is when people look down on you or believe ill of you, if they are a person you respect or love you will think highly of their low opinion. You will believe them. If they cannot stop communicating to you that you are bad or evil in some way after you have given them a chance to cease hurting you, you must defend yourself and the best way is to leave their presence. Otherwise you will allow them to destroy your self image and instill guilt. Instead you must try to keep a friendly and healthy distance.

Jeez, there was even some judge not lest ye be judged in there. I’ll have to attempt to fit more wisdom of other religions in future talks and not focus so strongly on christian lessons alone. Hey, nobody is perfect. 😉

Asceticism and Indulgence : Balance of Balance – Harmony

Published by under Uncategorized on March 8, 2010

In all things we must strive for balance, including balance itself.

Asceticism has been a tradition of truly holy men down through the ages and with very good reasons.

First it shows that their path is not one of attempted exploitation. Once who strives to have little is not trying to get something from you in doing so.

Secondly it is to show that happiness comes from within and not from the outside.

Third it is a practice of overcoming the animal we are at our core. Our most basic instincts are the ones that can cause the most pain and suffering to ourselves and those around us. Not only through passionate action but also through fearful inaction.

The only thing which separates us from other animals is our enlarged prefrontal cortex. This is the area of the brain that provides executive function. We are able to put off immediate gratification for greater reward. We can choose the two in the bush over the bird in the hand. The practice of self denial has been proven to increase the size and efficacy of the PFC. In other words, it would seem that self denial makes us more human. It expands our consciousness in a certain way. But perhaps it should be seen as an effect that shifts our balance in a certain way that made us different.

Even this important practice can be taken too far. If we put off all gratification we deny the beauty and gifts of life. Just as our body must eventually have food or die, our mind/spirit must also feed. Perhaps when taken too far we become robotic and unfeeling. Additionally the attempt to deny too much too quickly can actually have an opposite effect on our consciousness.

For instance, because the PFC is new in evolutionary terms it is the first area of the brain that begins to be cannibalized wen there are not enough fats in our diet. When we starve ourselves we create stress hormones which alter our neurochemistry. This can lead to strenthening our negative survival instincts such as extreme selfishness. 

The desire to nurture, to love and to be loved are animal drives. The feelings of triumph and exhileration are animal feelings. Charity and altruism are all seen in the animal kingdom. All the nobility of the human spirit and all we venerate in ourselves is intricately tied with basic animal instincts. Survival and reproduction.

True balance as seen in all of nature and the universe is not a drab grey haze of uniformity. It is a wave. It has highs and lows. There are extreme’s but those extremes fit with and compliment the whole. This is the menaing of harmony when spoken of as a broader concept. A great symphony is made of waves. It is made of highs and lows but we can still sense the balance. It is the reason why you can predict what is coming in a song you’ve never heard, because you know there must be a closing to an opening. You have a need for a low to balance the high. You also have a need for the song to return to the center and for it to return to the start in some way.

So though we should practice self denial, we should also practice well planned and reasoned indulgence: Indulgence in the gifts given to us by nature. Occasionally in things such as food. But regularly in companionship.

Though it should be obvious that Song and Dance are some of the most powerful expressions of joy that humans have and should be encouraged and shared communally, another one of the greatest gifts given to us by god/the universe is sexual pleasure. Western culture has developed an unnatural fear and loathing that has warped and perverted their minds. This sickness seems to express itself as the voracious and insatiable desire of the west for power and money. It was almost certainly partially developed as a mechanism to increase breeding. While this sounds counter intuitive we must look at the effect not the supposed conscious intent. Firstly, there have been numerous psychological studies that have shown that forbidding certain thoughts causes obsession with them. Such that the subjects not only thought of the forbidden thing more frequently during the test period than the controls did, but once they were allowed, they engaged in the thought process far more and for far longer than the controls. This could lead to increased breeding with both allowed and non allowed partners. Needless to say this could be a very effective survival strategy for a species and we find that those religions which have these beliefs have no shortage of large families.

With advancements in birth control and safe sex practices there is little to no reason not to indulge in this natural gift of life; especially with well established partners. In addition to this being a viable avenue for enjoying life without cost of life, limb or resources, it can also be a source of commmunal bonding as well as ascetic practice. There are few indulgences so perfect.

The unnatural state of western views of sex are very rapidly being exposed by science. Where it was once assumed that no animals had sex for fun and that many animals mated for life, we now find that most of the birds that appear to mate for life only do so for companionship but still engage in extra-couple pairing very frequently and the most intelligent animals on the planet (other than humans), dolphins, regularly engage in playful sex as a communal bonding ritual.

We also find that while we are told our closest evolutionary relative is the chimpanzee, we instead find that the bonobo has some specific genetic similarities to us that chimps do not have and are almost certainly a closer relative to us than the chimp. While visually distinguished from chimps by their human-like long hair on top, they are more well known for their extreme sexuality. All issues of strife within a group are dealt with via sexuality instead of violence. While those in captivity do copulate more frequently than in the wild, those in the wild are still engage in sex acts too frequently in a single day to warrant counting.

Because of the release of oxytocin during sexual acts, it is theorized that the behavior developed because of its ability to diffuse group tension and increase social bonding. In humans this type of behavior is found in many indiginous peoples throughout the world. The samoan people, for instance, kept nothing concerning the basic human facts of copulation, birth, bodily functions, or death hidden before Christianity swept over their culture and stomped out their shameless identity.

Though there are reproductive imperitives and instincts that make men naturally more predisposed to lattempt to impregnate as many females as possible and women more inclined to want withold sexuality more to get the most viable offspring for the gigantic investment of a possible child, there are still cultures today in which men have numerous wives and women have numerous husbands.

There have been scientific findings that roughly an orgasm a day can add many years to your life. Additionally, other studies of logevity have found links between prolonged breeding age of animals and lifespan. This makes sense in evolutionary terms because creating viable offspring is the primary goal of genes. There is no need for a an animal beyond breeding except in care of the young.

In tantric sexual practice, prolonging and even denying orgasm are a practice of achieving a higher consciousness. In practice, prolonging the time to reach orgasm such that the goal is to achieve simultaneous orgasm can lead to a great deal of self-discipline. It is self-denial that leads to greater reward. Additionally it can cause the couple to focus on the enjoyable nature of the act itself even though the orgasm is far more rewarding as well. It can become a microcosm of how life should be lived and how a relationship should be conducted. Mutual concern, care, and performance must be balanced with personal enjoyment and relaxation. Impatience can destroy the experience, lack of focus can lead to frustration. Lies lead to failure and dissatisfaction. To be able to perfectly coordinate each must be able to arouse themselves to the point of extreme temptation but be able to hold back indefinately. To pursue a goal but enjoy the process of reaching it enough to let things progress naturally. To see the enjoyment of another as one’s own enjoyment.

It is a unhealthy perversion of god’s gifts and unthankful to view sexuality as anything other than a beautiful, natural and joyous part of the human experience. Every single adult does it and as often as possible and they always have or you wouldn’ be here. Why on earth should we hide something as necessary as eating or sleeping, as innocent as a mother breastfeeding a child and as beautiful as life itself?

This is a perfect example of indulgence that is obviously harmonious with nature.

Gnosticism

Published by under Uncategorized on March 3, 2010

The pursuit of knowledge on its own for knowledge sake is an error. There is infinite knowledge to be obtained because there is infinite possibility and creativity. There is infinite falsehood. Knowledge is only useful in how it relates to reality and how it relates to other pieces of the picture.

Where most intelligent people put an emphasis on the aquisition of knowledge, it is not the knowledge itself that is most valuable but the way in which knowledge connects to everything else. The way it supports other sets of knowledge. The way in which it answers the infinite loop question of “why?”.

The connections cannot exist without the knowledge so the pursuit of knowledge in a certain way takes precedence, but the eventual goal of all knowledge is to build a single internally consistent model of reality. This is only done through the connections and relationships of the knowledge. Reality always proves itself to be internally consistent and it has only been by using this fact about reality that we have been able to predict the future. It is understanding.

Understanding is the process of matching the model of reality in your mind to the actual way in which the world works. If we assume that there is a god or that the universe is god then we can assume the creation or the manifestation of god matches the will of god. In SGMS the universe is an entity which is a mind so by pursuing understanding we are in fact attempting to make ourselves a more accurate representation/reflection of god. We become more like those things we venerate if our veneration is sincere.

Love itself is a process of coming together in unity. Love is trust. Trust is also a form of belief. The pursuit of the knowledge of the nature of the universe and god is a form of creating trust and belief that is sound. It is a devout spirituality. Not simply swallowing whatever garbage a charlatan has to sell, or granting texts validity simply because of their age or popularity.  In Christian tradition it is important to “Love” god, but the common definition of love is far too narrow. True love is a transformation of the concept of self. By seeking the answers the universe has to give for ourselves and bending our self to fit the answers instead of bending the answers to fit our self, we truly “Love” god.

Sacred texts and traditions be damned. If there is truth to be found, it is written into reality where no man can alter it and deceive you.

This is the way in which the pursuit of knowledge and understanding is a process of enlightenment and spiritual progression. By making what is inside match the outside instead of making the outside match our inside.

Religion and Science

Published by under Uncategorized on March 1, 2010

Religion and Science have been at war for centuries and they both need to admit thier flaws and see the strengths and values of the other. Whether it’s witch trials slaughtering alchemists and astrologers, or gattling guns literally killing the samurai culture (religion) there have been heavy hits from both sides and an understanding must be arrived at so that the two can exist in harmony.

Religion was the first memetic child of nature. Superstition grew out of searching for a pattern of success. Simple reward pathways grew by associating events by simple time correlation alone. Go to a casino and watch the old ladies tap out little tunes or rub the screen in circles. Wearing their “lucky” shoes they are using the oldest prediction device: If it happened like this before then it will again.

All animals have religion. It is how everything works to them. It is the way that experience can cause a species to adapt to environmental change the maximum amount in the shortest time. It is how experience can still shape a species outside of pure genetics. Perhaps even as a trial period before inegration into instinct. It is a form of shared memory. The story of the “one-hundreth monkey effect” is a good example of religious exchange of information. A few of the monkeys on a certain island they were being studied on began to wash the sweet potatoes they were being given as food before eating them. Though the behavior likely started with a single monkey, there was a threshold at which the behavior suddenly became ubiquitous in not only the island groups but those on nearby landmasses as well. This shows a predeliction in the animals to absorb behaviors from others and repeat them without previous personal correlation between events setting up a dopamine pathway. Instead it is simply known that something must be done.

Religion is the first method of sharing experience between organisms and therefore allowing a more complex picture of reality to begin to be built. Most religious beliefs are simply codes of conduct that may have granted some survival advantage such as not eating pork, but in the process of building these correlations there were hits and misses. Vestigial organs perhaps? Some things were simply the equivelent of an old lady noticing that a few times she wore her blue shoes, the slot machine payed out, so obviously the universe wants her to wear blue shoes because she’s been rewarded for it. And she never wins when she brings her black purse so obviously that purse offended god. Regardless of its flaws, religion has helped animals and continues to help humans in a variety of ways.

By being able to simply believe what others believe, a single subject can draw upon the experiences of thousands or even millions of other individuals. And not just the individuals currently alive, but ones that had experiences thousands of years ago. The wealth of trial-and-error-built knowledge passed down in a religious manner is absolutely ciritical to humans now. Whether it is to “bundle up or catch your death of cold” or “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”, we need to be able to trust and integrate information we have never experienced. Imagine if you questioned every experiment. Doubted every single fossil finding and biological discovery. Disbelieved every map. Eventually you could disbelieve every single human experience other than you own and therefore never have enough time in your life to make a new discovery because you’d be too busy working out what’s already been explored to ever build upon the older knowledge. You could hardly accomplish anything at all.

Religious belief comes from an area of the mind that deals in complexity and probability. The emotional mind. It collects information and grows knowledge, but just as pruning and predation are necessary to keep a species strong, so too must useless behaviors be eliminated lest they waste precious resources of time and effort. So the yin of emotion must have the yang of logic as a balancing partner. Logic is, at it’s core, the ability to recognize paradox. Because there are certain truths about reality which can be used to find useless data, logic can always perform the first step in elimination of waste: finding it. Two opposing things cannot be true simultaneously. With the yin/yang concept we know of duality, shared aspects, and alternation of context based truths but there is still a large difference between this and paradoxical information. Unfortunately this check can only be made on very simple data. Simple data is often temporary data.

Out of logic came Science; the unexpected/unwanted love child of belief and logic it therefore had something to prove. It was born rebellious and contrary. (that was the core of its nature, to find flaw) It sought to tear down all that its parents had created and built it anew. It was disrespectful and unappreciative of the good work done for countless centures before. All it did was harp on the failures and point out the embarassing errors. All the while not realizing how much it was just like its parent.. in good ways and in bad ones.

Yes it made sweeping positive seeming changes but without enough respect for its forbears it acted in hubris and the arrogance led to overestimation of its ability and has now led to the suffering and near extinction of its charges. It may have even brought itself and its parents total destruction in its haste. The suffering it thought could banished with its inventions and technology only became new ways of suffering.

It is only when both the growth of belief and the strength of logic are in balance that we are granted understanding which is the goal of science. Science is not only knowledge but knowlege which can fit with all other knowledge. It is the desire to hold it all in one place and check it against itself. No new probable inferences can be made with pure logic. Only what is perfectly known without doubt can be dealt with. But nothing is truly without doubt so the probability handling of emotions must give logic something to work with. But without the pruning of logic there are endless possibilites and therefore endless “probable” leaps of faith which can grow branches that cannot bear fruit.

As science begins to mature and gain confidence, it will no longer need to immediately throw away all old knowledge before it has even explored it. It will see its reliance upon flawed human perceptions, fashions, pride and popularity contests. It will recognize its ability to make large errors and take it in stride because it will know its own strength: Self-examination. It is finally beginning to see the remarkable ways in which religion had truly banished suffering. From herbal remedies to meditation and acupuncture, science has been eating the crow of its foolish arrogance. Unfortunately religion uses failures as a way to try to discredit science as a retaliation for past affronts. Both sides have got to take some hits to pride and stop the fight.

Neuroscience is a path of reconciliation, through respect, that science has embarked upon. Perhaps by recognizing the many valuable things brought to the table by religion and by also recognizing its own failings science will now lay the groundwork for both entities to see the strengths and weaknesses in themselves.

When the two trust eachother enough to become one entity because they understand their unity of purpose, mankind will find a new kind of peace and power to overcome suffering and devision.

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