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Copyright, Priority, Innovation

Contents

Copyright Details. 1

I have scholarly priority of discovery of entheogen determinism.. 2

Entheogen determinism is *my* theory; *I* discovered it and own it 5

Permission to Translate Ego Death Writings to Other Languages. 5

Away doing computer science. 8

Write clear subject headings if send email 8

De Quincey's attempt to steal Ken Wilber's intellectual property. 8

Challenge of finding time to read serious books. 12

 

Copyright Details

See also: Scholarly Priority of Discovery

This website consists of copyrighted material. Per Fair Use copyright law, attribute citations to "Michael Hoffman, Egodeath.com". By reading the material at the Egodeath.com website, you are acknowledging you are aware of my claim to scholarly priority, summarized as follows.

This theory of ego death is the first theory to combine the dissociative cognitive state, a philosophical theory of self-control, a model of experiencing determinism and transcending it, and a theory of myth and religion in terms of experiential metaphor.

This theory is the first to systematically, explicitly, and non-metaphorically explain how the following four key areas are interconnected and have been interconnected, though much less clearly, throughout the history of religion and philosophy: dissociation, cybernetics, determinism, and metaphor. These four areas were centrally present in this theory starting in 1987, and the content of this theory reached full, mature completion in 2005. The period 2001-2005 is fully recorded with dates at the Egodeath discussion group.

Four domains of theory are key for constructing an adequate and relevant theory of transcendent experiential insight:

  • The dissociative cognitive state (includes entheogens). As key and essential as entheogens are, in current practice and in history of religion, the real point that theory must get a solid grasp on is dissociative cognition in general as a mode of mental processing -- not the various triggers of that mode, such as visionary plants.
  • Self-control cybernetics (includes metaphysics of personal agency through time). As important as personal agency and the separate-self construct is, the real central point to emphasize in a theoretical model is self-control cybernetics: personal government-power, personal agency as a locus of control-power.
  • Block-universe determinism (includes ideas of determinism-transcendence). As important as determinism-transcendence was in religious history, the central pivotal key for theory is block-universe determinism.
  • Phenomenological metaphor (includes no-Historical-Jesus, myth). That there was no historical Jesus is less important, for forming a modern systematic theory, than having a solid theory of metaphor. The New Testament and related early Christian writings were originally intended and understood as dissociative-state initiation allegory and phenomenological metaphor, mixed with rebuttal to Caesar Cult or Imperial Ruler Worship.

This Egodeath theory presents a rational, systematic model of religious experiencing based on loose cognitive association, experiencing no-free-will and its transcendence, and timeless block-universe determinism. I provide coordinated substantial coverage of all four of these areas as central and key, integrating it systematically and clearly in plain presentation. That has not been done by Joseph Campbell, Alan Watts, Ken Wilber, Carl Jung, Ramesh Balsekar, Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy, sages, gurus, and so on.

Any theory of myth or religious revelatory epiphany that do not share this 'dissociation, cybernetics, determinism, and metaphor' configuration -- which is to say, all theories and models prior to this one -- are inefficient, unclear, and off-target. This theory explains and activates the religions (Christianity, Jewish, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shamanism, Western Esotericism) much more ergonomically and clearly than has been done before.

As a theory, this surpasses the theological theories of the religions, and truly qualifies as a theory, in the modern, systematic sense. This is not a copyright on esotericism as an experiential insight, but rather, this is a copyright on the first effective, clear, ergonomic, systematic, concise, explicit, nonmetaphorical theory and model of esoteric religio-philosophy.

This theory includes numerous innovative theories as components, integrated yet each noteworthy in their own right, including for example:

         The entheogenic trans-determinism theory of religion

         The maximal entheogen theory of religion

         The entheogenic theory of myth, perennial philosophy, and esotericism

-- Michael Hoffman

http://egodeath.com -- simple theory of the ego-death and rebirth experience. The essence, paradigm, origin, and fountainhead of religion is the use of visionary plants to routinely trigger the intense mystic altered state, producing loose cognitive association binding, which then produces an experience of frozen block-universe determinism with a single, pre-existing, ever-existing future. The effective restoration of self-control stability and the return of the ordinary state of consciousness is allegorized as a transcendence of Necessity or cosmic determinism. Myth describes this mystic-state experience. Initiation is classically a series of some 8 visionary-plant sessions, interspersed with study of perennial philosophy. Most modern-era religion has been a distortion, corruption, literalization, and cooptation of this standard initiation system.

Explanation to Morons of the Obvious: Why Copyrighting Is Important

http://www.cagle.com/news/blog/ - interesting article about how a tobacco company stole online art from an artist to promote tobacco and deliberately removed information pointing to her contact channels. About proposed laws allowing use of supposed "orphaned intellectual property".

Just because it's online doesn't mean it's orphaned, generic, public domain material! Online publishing is *real scholarship", damn it!

People email me: "You sure are concerned about ownership of the material at your site." Actually the dimwits who write this write something more like ""You sure are cnocerned about onwership of the stuff at yoru wbesite."

What don't you get about the concept of "intellectual property" and being ripped off? Is it so hard of a concept I have to explain and justifying not wanting to be robbed by opportunists? Youth is no excuse for such stupidity. These are people who can't even imagine creating and contributing something new to the world; they have no concept of intellectual creation or intellectual property; these are people in the mp3 filesharing generation, who purely consume others' intellectual labor and don't produce their own and lack the concept of intellectual labor.

For someone who has never created anything, it seems baffling why someone would want to retain ownership of their own works they've created. The people writing me these emails have never contributed any intellectual creation to the world, and can't imagine why creators don't just freely give away their work to the public domain.

There are degrees of ripping off or stealing online work. I have not done everything possible to identify owners of all graphics files at this site. But at least I'm not claiming it as my own work and signing my name to it or claiming that I've taken ownership of it because it is "orphaned intellectual property". It is clear enough which paragraphs and graphics here are created by me and therefore my intellectual property. Were I to productize this site, I'd have to at least make sure that my own writing and graphics are differentiated from that of others which is already the case, I believe; I think there are few if any paragraphs or graphics for which you can't tell whether I created it or someone else did, whether or not that other person is specifically identified.

I have scholarly priority of discovery of entheogen determinism

The Internet archives and early postings in this discussion group clearly prove beyond any possible doubt that entheogen determinism is *my* theory; *I* discovered it and own it; it's my original idea and idea-combination. No one else to this day has coherently asserted this essential theory in any book or article. There is no theory of religion that can incorporate my theory and somehow go beyond it: mine is the final stop; this is the only entheogen determinism theory of religion; it is incompatible with any other person's theory which would presume to subsume and incorporate it.

Mine is the biggest and most encompassing; otherwise this theory self-destructs if absconded and incorporated into someone else's. My theory is final and complete and ultimate, and I marry and stand by it and have much evidential ammunition and witnesses to defend my claim to it. The entheogen determinism theory is ultimate and final and it is my discovery and creation, copyrighted and patented; I own it, invented it, discovered it, and published it publically to the world for several years.

Below are previous postings linking to further evidence of scholarly priority.

I posted this to the alt.philosophy newsgroup today. This link seems to work:

news:KW0Bb.337584$ao4.1128403~at~attbi_s51

The name shown for my original posting in this thread in the newsgroup appears as "triptolemus". 'triptolemus' is a fluke; the only pen name I've used heavily was Cybermonk, and a few times I used Mark Hoffman -- though I wouldn't now, because Mark Hoffman is main editor of the recent great entheogen journal Entheos. I meant to show 'Michael Hoffman' (not a pen name).

"triptolemus" <nospam~at~nospam.com> wrote in message news:KW0Bb.337584$ao4.1128403~at~attbi_s51...

>I have scholarly priority of discovery of entheogen determinism. Entheogen determinism is *my* theory; *I* discovered it and own it.

>http://groups.yahoo.com/group/egodeath/message/2708 --

>The Internet archives and early postings in this discussion group clearly prove beyond any possible doubt that entheogen determinism is *my* theory; *I* discovered it and own it; it's my original idea and idea-combination. ...

Michael wrote:

>>... My theory ... The entheogen determinism theory is ultimate and final and it is my discovery and creation, copyrighted and patented; I own it, invented it, discovered it, and published it publically to the world for [since] several years."

dc wrote:

>"Sorry Michael, I patented all of the universe first!"

You were remiss to not hire a competent lawyer of intellectual property. My theory of transcendence -- the theory that entheogen-triggered determinism is the real meaning of religion-myth-philosophy -- resides outside the universe and therefore is not covered by your patent.

If you invented the universe, that makes you the demiurge: the clumsy, inept, and deluded creator of this flawed and broken system, who demands worship as controller and author of this world full of evil, lies, and delusion, out of which the elect of the higher god are fished through transcendent gnosis, the modern ergonomic systematization of which I have invented, discovered, patented, and productized.

Thus regardless of further attempts of other people to claim priority of discovery, I shall maintain -- without real need for further defense and proof, it having been firmly established beyond any reasonable doubt -- that I have clearly established my priority of discovery of the entheogen determinism theory of religion, which is clearly defined and delineated in my previous writings readily available to everyone on the Internet.

dc wrote:

>>Recasting entheogen theory acording to the time and place is a good thing, so your effort is excellent. At the same time your theory will evolve, building on your basis, but in terms of infintite time that has already been done to it's full conclusion and all participants agree to a particular protocol for any given temporal time. Agreement is necessary so that the master theory can be understood in every cultural and temporal context.

There may or may not be a bit of tangential aspects of truth implied by the above (this is not a concession).

Innovation is an interesting subject I have read books on and regret not being able to write much on at the moment.

I cannot now conduct a full defense of my position on this point, but the immediately important thing is to make it crystal clear that *I* discovered and labored over constructing this theory or theory-formulation, before other scholars and theorists. It is my hard work, innovative work; I have serious disagreements with all other scholars, and major benefits over their works. Mine is the first non-bungled system, the first airplane that really actually flies.

Time doesn't permit detailing the nature of innovation and intellectual property here, but the first order of business is to state ownership and claim, and state what it is I'm claiming (see previous posts over past years for such statements). I am not this month first announcing ownership -- rather, I am adding even extra additional clarity to the past adequate and clear postings.

I regret not having time to continue this important and interesting discussion at the moment. I hope people continue to post such interesting discussion.

My airplane is the first to fly; it incorporates previous research and further fine tuning just like the Wright brothers who are credited with "inventing" the airplane, in shorthand. Innovation is largely group and largely cumulative -- but still real, and intellectual property is a valid construct.

I'm very important, very distinctive, very innovative, and can explain how, with respect to all similar authors, showing how I'm different and better than all similar authors. This is an essential characterization of intellectual innovation in general -- an interesting subject, including ego as a nexus of ownership; the subject of intellectual property opens out into all sorts of interesting topics in philosophy, including politics, ownership, identity, attribution, intellectual history of ideas, and the theory of knowledge. It is not a simple simplistic subject nor conversation.

What is innovation? What is authorship? What is attribution? What is creativity, discovery, systematization?

The word 'theory' derives from "theater-watching", where real theater (Attic Tragedy, but also medieval mystery plays) was based on entheogenic-determinism initiation, as Hellenistic Mystery Cults were. Most modern theater is vulgar, secular, non-transcendent -- not the Matrix though, or 2001: A Space Odyssey. Opera has some esotericism themes too; there were some visionary plants.

I'm *not* a footnote to any Plato. Plato and Wilber and Buddhist ancients are footnotes to *me*.

dc wrote:

>I patented you Michael. "The consumate explorer and temporal, theoretician of the block-universe entheogen determinism theory" So no need to worry about your intellectual property, being absconded.

>That is way I purt my sentence in quotation marks and then said, "and so it goes....."

>"Universe," being a word with a number of meanings applies to both the local, inept and broken system as well as that which is "outside," voidness, eternity and manifestation.

>An important feature of the master theory, is that it can be stated in words, within a number of frameworks, which are time and place dependent.

>Like all theories they can be watered down and misused. Someday it is quite possible the word "entheogen," could also lose it's meaning and revert back to it's root meaning devoid of visionary plant use. In another time, science could manage to circumvent even the need for ingestion of visionary plants, controlling the chemistry in a even more precise way. Theory, also reverts back to argued distinctions to where to original meaning is lost and all that is left are those arguing about the shell.

>Each language has a different word for nearly everything. Each theory can also be found to be onesided as expressed in words.

>In high Mahayana Buddhism the master theory is called "Ichinen Sanzen." as elucidated by Chih-I in China, based on the Saddharma Pundarika from India.

>In real Buddhism there are already terms for the stage of your theory and whole sectarian layers of dialectics and recapitulations, mirroring whatever debate one could have about it.

>All of it is words until put into practice and validated in terms of reality as it is (Shoho Jisso). Whatever expedient means that is used to explain a theory is replaceable by the "actual." Thus there are two Ichinen Sanzens, Ri-no Ichinen Sanzen (theoretical) and Ji- no Ichinen Sanzen (actual).

You only have to tell me one thing: where in the Buddhist texts does it explicitly say that "religion is metaphorical-only description of the use of visionary plants to encounter determinism"? Nowhere explicitly -- which proves that I am innovative, as far as the record of philosophical writings reflects.

Where in the Buddhist texts does it explicitly say that "religion is metaphorical-only description of the use of visionary plants to encounter determinism"? Where does it say explicitly and clearly the equivalent of:

"The only essence, paradigm, origin, core, fountainhead, and ultimate goal of religion is the use of visionary plants to routinely trigger the intense mystic altered state, producing loose cognitive association binding, which then produces an experience of frozen block-universe determinism with a single, pre-existing, ever-existing future. The return of the ordinary state of consciousness is allegorized as a transcendence of Necessity or cosmic determinism.

Myth describes this mystic-state experience. Initiation is classically a series of some 8 visionary-plant sessions, interspersed with study of perennial philosophy. Most religion is a distortion, corruption, literalization, cooptation, and missing-the-point overcomplication of this simple, standard initiation system."

Scramble as you will, nothing comes close -- proving my assertion of true scholarly priority. I would very like to see the writings you describe, in any case -- I shouldn't need to say that I appreciate your work and discoveries and hope for more of your writings.

DC wrote:

>You generally tend to focus on a western theoretical basis and I tend to focus on the eastern. As I have time, I will post the sectarian differences in Buddhism and Hinduism and correlations with your terminology and Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese terminology.

>It may help you see what I am referring to, when you have a broader awareness of the Ichinen Sanzen theory of Chih-I and how it relates to all this. The details of Ichinen Sanzen is expressed on many levels within high Buddhism, from metaphoric to specific. The history of the debates within Buddhism run the gamut.

>The other part of this discussion relates to the "method of teaching," in any given time or place.

>I too wish to see "restatements" in "modern" academic terms and applaud your effort to do this. Do not underestimte the more obscure details and development of real buddhism or be confused by the appearance of followers who take things on faith alone and the existing literalism that is prominent.

Entheogen determinism is *my* theory; *I* discovered it and own it

The Internet archives and early postings in this discussion group clearly prove beyond any possible doubt that entheogen determinism is *my* theory; *I* discovered it and own it; it's my original idea and idea-combination. No one else to this day has coherently asserted this essential theory in any book or article. There is no theory of religion that can incorporate my theory and somehow go beyond it: mine is the final stop; this is the only entheogen determinism theory of religion; it is incompatible with any other person's theory which would presume to subsume and incorporate it.

Mine is the biggest and most encompassing; otherwise this theory self-destructs if absconded and incorporated into someone else's. My theory is final and complete and ultimate, and I marry and stand by it and have much evidential ammunition and witnesses to defend my claim to it. The entheogen determinism theory is ultimate and final and it is my discovery and creation, copyrighted and patented; I own it, invented it, discovered it, and published it publically to the world for several years.

Below are previous postings linking to further evidence of scholarly priority.

Permission to Translate Ego Death Writings to Other Languages

Scalino,

I grant you permission to translate the articles at Egodeath.com into French if you credit me as the original author; for example:

Michael Hoffman

Michael Hoffman of Egodeath.com

Michael Hoffman, author of the website Egodeath.com.

Michael Hoffman, author of The Cybernetic Theory of Ego Transcendence

The oldest title of my area of work (my Theory) is:

The Cybernetic Theory of Ego Transcendence

Regarding a title or label, recently I think of it simply as

The Theory of Ego Death

I don't have a published book, so that makes it harder to reference me -- but I'm very identified with the Egodeath.com site. I want to write a book, but it might not happen as soon as people want.

My more recent work isn't currently at the site -- it's in the Egodeath discussion group; I post there in the form of informal articles. Almost all my work of the past year has been studying the relation of entheogens and Christianity, and the relation of official religion, mystic religion, and entheogenic religion, portraying entheogenic religion as the purest extreme of mystic religion.

I hope to incorporate my discussion-group postings into the website, and turn the site into a book. I don't see how I can put off writing a book much longer, because I no longer feel any real novelty in reading religion and philosophy books; I've developed and stabilized a certain way of reading and interpreting the books, so there is nothing really new to be discovered in them as far as breakthroughs -- merely further, extra confirmation.

I used to read the books to have breakthroughs and confirmation of the breakthroughs, but now I've reached a steady-state alternative view. I should read much more, but I can't expect to really discover anything novel. I'm good at hunting down basic insights, and I've done that all the way. I'm less interested in polishing and filling in gaps.

The latest subject I've noticed is Western Estoericism, such as the research by Faivre. My final conclusion -- rather independent of any further evidence and support -- is that real religion is entheogenic in origin and theme, and is fundamentally concerned with not only no-separate-self, but particularly no-free-will -- and that the right way to read religious writings is as purely allegory, absolutely and very firmly rejecting the dominant Literalist tendencies.

Religion is entirely and only allegorical, with the original and driving theme being metaphors for specifically entheogenic insights and cognitive phenomena. It's not really, originally, or centrally about meditation, contemplation, ethics, mundane morality, empowerment, metaphysical freedom, magic, or supernatural.

Genuine and original/essential religion does incorporate these themes and connect to them, but the most important thing in truly understanding religion is to specify what the essential theme is and what the merely secondary or auxiliary metaphors are. For example, astrotheology and many other allegory systems do map to core religion, but they are not core religion.

What is the core, and what is merely derivative and auxiliary? That is the main question, the only question, the radical root question. According to my theory of religion, the core, root, foundation, and fountainhead of religion is entheogenic in method -- not meditative or contemplative -- and concerns, first of all, the combination of no-separate-self and no-free-will, as far as intellectual content of revelation -- what is revealed by the method.

Other methods are incidental, derivative, secondary, alternative, later, degenerations. This is the inverse of what Mirceau Eliade incorrectly said of use of entheogens by shamans, and as has been falsely said of "later, degenerate mystery religions" -- I need to remember which scholar wrote or said that.

As the truth comes out about the actual history, origin, and nature of religions, we can expect more such desperate attempts to defuse the now indisputable fact that religions have been fully involved in entheogen use, that the Eucharist, Passover, Agape love feast, and Banquets, and potions, and mixed wines, and Hellenistic symposiums, and sacred meals, and myths/rituals with these elements at *dead center*, were utterly common interpretations from the start, and before the start, and after the start, up through the present day, in all the religions -- it is hopeless and futile to attempt to sideline and steer-aside this *strong* entheogenic presence in the religions and their histories.

The officials will be forced to do something more like their strategy with regard to acknowledging the continuing heavy use of psychoactive drugs today after decades of (phony and profit-driven) prohibition. The officials no longer claim to be reducing drug use -- now their self-promotion strategies must be based on fully admitting that the (pseudo-) problem hasn't gone away one bit, after decades of their supposed efforts to reduce drug use.

The same thing is bound to happen as the truth comes out about the fact of the predominance of entheogens at the heart of the religions: scholars and officials who are invested in the official false story of religion will be forced to fully acknowledge that entheogens have always been completely common in the religions. They will have to somehow apologize and downplay the significance of this eventually indisputable fact.

Such scholars will have to squirm to distort the fully evident fact that entheogens have always been the heart of religions -- the central method and key to transcendent insight, utterly reliable and universal, unlike contemplation/meditation. These scholars might end up saying, for example, that though entheogens are the origin of religion, it's immoral that that was the case, and a fully unfortunate historical detail, and that such religion is illegitimate even though it is historically the original and spiritually dominant source of religion.

We've seen equally incredible attempts to deny the plain and obvious truth, in the phony and absurd "war on drugs". We'll end up with official scholars pointedly ignoring, obviously distorting and lying and talking around the clear facts -- we're already seeing such blatant evasion. More and more scholars of religion are being forced to admit and at least mention that there are completely unrefuted theories about the use of psychoactives in early religion.

Some official scholars make a point of talking around this and not mentioning it; others acknowledge it without comment, but none dare think they have the slightest hope of *refuting* it.

Despite all the assumptions and lack of explicit evidence, mitigating against the entheogen theory of the origin of religions, it's clear that the entheogen theory is, at root, basically *totally plausible*, and there is no viable alternative. We confront a choice: either religion comes from entheogens, or it comes from some totally unfathomable source.

The theory-choice is one between an absolutely specific and concrete entheogenic theory, versus total fog, somewhat like the choice between the crazy Copehagenist interpretation of quantum mechanics, in which nothing can be visualized or conceptualized, versus the concrete and specific Einstein/Bohm hidden-variables interpretation.

It's also like one of the peak-experience choices we may experientially encounter as one of the strange phenomena to be found in the mind: the sense of coming upon the two alternatives of going insane or acknowledging no-free-will; either nothing makes any rational sense, and the mental worldmodel cannot be coherent, or there is no free will and no separate self and the mental worldmodel can be coherent and founded on rational integrity.

I'm a perfectionist, with high standards, which has advantages. It's inherently a hard book to write.

My guitar Amp Tone work is, like the magazine Tone Quest Report, like a religious quest for the Holy Grail of guitar amp tone -- like the new reverb pedal by Electro-Harmonix, the Holy Grail reverb and the Holier Grail deluxe reverb pedal. Electric guitar amp tone and ego death are nicely distinct yet resonant.

Acid rock and the late 20th Century resurgence of entheogens are intimately related, just as Rave electronic music and exotic entheogens are intimately related. This pairing goes back to Hellenistic religion and beyond, which was also an intimate pairing of experiential spirituality and the potions, mixed wines, and ambrosias of the gods.

I'm currently listening to a lecture series on CD about heretics, witches, and mystics. Not only the origins of Christianity are very different than the official Literalist story, the entire history of Christianity and of other religions is very different that the respective Literalist portrayals of them. The history of religions is actually far richer and more diverse than the Literalist story lets on.

We have a heavily filtered and restricted, narrowed and skewed, whitewashed, cleansed, and grossly distorted set of history books, theology books, and museum displays. It's like asking the government today to inform us about psychoactive drugs -- we can count on being fed a load of total propaganda and disinformation.

That's what the dominant, official story of religion is today -- propaganda and disinformation. Forget everything you think you know about religions and religious history; it's time to try on a totally different view of what it's all about and where it comes from. The pieces are here now to go all the way overboard and uncover an extremist, fully viable alternative picture of what religion is actually all about.

My digital & vacuum tube amp is buzzing along with guitar in lap and pick in lips; back to the amp tone lab research.

Away doing computer science

In religious philosophy, my latest interest is how the true center of gravity of Christianity, and in some sense the real origin of Christianity, lies in the later Middle Ages and is somehow based on medieval Jewish mysticism more than on ancient Jewish religion. I have a clear hunch about this, but haven't yet confirmed. Notably, I have ordered the remaining 3/5 of the Gnosis magazine issues to complete my collection. Reading these issues is a high priority in philosophy.

I do need to fill in this area a little, to say something about it. But I have enough now to define a new research paradigm and framework for myth-religion.

Another topic to consider is self-control seizure and making peace with no-free-will, and the personification of deity as benevolent controller of determinism, or lifter out from cosmic determinism, found in some Buddhism such as in Kwan Yin or the bright goddess lured out of her cave.

The idea of a compassionate personal benevolent deity ruling over Fate and determinism is an indicator of intense mystic experiencing that is so overpowering, bringing self-control seizure and panic, a benevolent deity is postulated as the last rational resort in the face of catastrophic practical instability and loss of control.

Thank you for the gift. I still have enough gift money left to buy some more spirituality books -- perhaps Moshe Idel or Gershem Scholem on Renaissance Jewish esotericism and mysticism, or Buddhist mysticism and Bon shamanism.

My egodeath theory research & scholarly discovery continues at a rapid pace but on somewhat of a relative back burner for awhile, with possible occasional postings.

Write clear subject headings if send email

I'm bulk deleting email. All email with subject lines like blank, Hi, lkjlkj, or "about your message" will be bulk deleted. If you are a poor email writer as so many are, too bad -- crummy subject lines will cause the email to be deleted without reading.

De Quincey's attempt to steal Ken Wilber's intellectual property

Do Critics Misrepresent My Position?

A Test Case from a Recent Academic Journal

http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/misc/critics_01.cfm

This interesting article describes dirty moves in scholarly criticism, such as misportraying and distorting an original thinker's position in order to appear to refute him but then falsely claim credit for the original author's innovated ideas and discoveries. Relevant also for online debate/fighting & miscommunication.

Ken wrote:

>>To complicate matters, de Quincey has a tendency to take one detail and excoriate me for "completely misunderstanding" it, but then in footnotes he concedes that I actually do understand it, often quite perfectly, but I should emphasize the point more. As we will see, there is not a single major issue where de Quincey categorically rejects my model, although he gives that impression at every turn, with each theoretical criticism followed by yet another ad hominen attack. I must confess that I came away from reading his essay with an almost complete confusion about what was said and how I should respond. This is no doubt due to the fact that I lack all feelings and thus have no interpersonal compass (:-).

>>As is often the case with my critics, I happen to agree with much of what de Quincey has to say; it is simply that, in trying to establish his own view, he finds it necessary to distort my own, perhaps to better emphasize the differences between us. In doing so, de Quincey either takes a partial aspect of my position and claims that it is my total position (he does this quite often); or he simply does not present my actual position in the first place. I will try to point out where and how this occurs in his critique. As students of my work have been quick to point out, misrepresentation of my work is quite common, simply because there is so damn much of it, and many of my actual positions are buried in obscure endnotes; I have not helped much in this regard, a situation I am doing my best to rectify (as I will explain below).

Thank God, you admit that endnotes are evil. I hate endnotes; they suck and are intended to prevent communication. My books would never include endnotes -- use footnotes or integrate into text. Big endnotes is bad and ineffective authoring.

>>But, as I said, I happen to agree with virtually all of de Quincey's main points (and my overall writing, when accurately reported, makes it very obvious that I agree with him). There is an old saying, "Scholars spend their time maximizing their minimal differences," and it strikes me that de Quincey is trying to make room for his contributions by attempting to aggressively muscle me out of the picture in the areas that reflect his own special interests and concerns. Still, he asks (in one of those footnotes that quietly retract his criticism of my model), "I hope he [Wilber] sees me as an ally in the project to put the second-person perspective on the radar screen in consciousness studies and philosophy of mind. I think there is room in his four quadrants for true intersubjectivity, and I'm just trying to clarify what I think it is." Well, I do see de Quincey as an ally in that regard, and I have ever since I tried to help him get his important book on intersubjectivity published; and I still consider his position a very important contribution vis a vis the profound significance of intersubjectivity not only for consciousness, but for the Kosmos as well. I will try to emphasis these important points of agreement as we go along, since de Quincey does not.

>>...De Quincey then subtly retracts: "Wilber's 'interiors' all the way down and Whitehead's 'prehensions' all the way down are tokens of the same ontological type. This is the essence of panpsychism." Correct, as I myself state on numerous occasions. De Quincey has once again excoriated me for something I do not believe, and then himself retracted his attack in a footnote.

>>In the course of his condemnatory attack on my "straw-man panpsychism"--which I explicitly identify with Whitehead's and Griffin's--de Quincey moves into a long discussion of the confused nature of my treatment of feelings in general. De Quincey claims that I relegate feelings or emotions ONLY to the lower, prerational levels of development. This is categorically false. In an online interview with Jim Fadiman, I summarize my overall position: ...

http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/misc/critics_04.cfm

BORROWING

>>In perhaps the most embarrassing part of his attack on my work, de Quincey accuses me of subconsciously plagiarizing his work (although why he would want to claim that the model that he so aggressively attacks is actually his model is not made clear). As much as you want to see your critics fumble the ball when they are unfairly attacking you, this was just painful to watch.

>>In 1995 I published SES. The core of its argument, as de Quincey acknowledges, was a call to integrate "the Big Three"--the big three of art, morals, and science; or the Beautiful, the Good, and the True; or I, we, and it; or first-, second-, and third-person dimensions.[7]

>>Three years later, in 1998, de Quincey presented a paper that called for integrating first-, second-, and third-person approaches. He sent me this article in 1997. I told him I agreed with it, since it repeated my own model and my own conclusions.

>>In his JCS article, de Quincey suggests that, having read his paper, I unconsciously "borrowed" his call for integrating the Big Three. He says, "I was pleased to see Wilber subsequently emphasize what I was calling for: a comprehensive 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person approach to consciousness studies (which Wilber now calls the 1-2-3 of consciousness studies)." But, of course, I had been emphasizing that Big-Three approach starting with SES, as its many endnotes make perfectly clear, and this approach was repeated--including the call for a Big-Three approach to consciousness studies--in The Eye of Spirit, written in 1996 and published in 1997 (see the Collected Works, volume 7), all of which saw the light of day before de Quincey's paper began circulating.

>>In an endnote, de Quincey says, "I do want to state for the record that the call for a comprehensive 1, 2, 3 of consciousness studies was first presented in my Tucson paper in 1998." What evidence does he have for this, and how does he deal with the awkward fact that SES was out in 1995? De Quincey never answers or even addresses that, but he does say the evidence of my borrowing can be seen in the fact that I use two phrases in Integral Psychology that are similar to phrases found in his 1998 paper. These two phrases are "agree with each other" and "comprehensive theory."

>>This, as I said, is simply painful. I deeply appreciate that Christian wants to have his ideas acknowledged, and I am more than glad to point to him as a worthy comrade in the drive for an integral Big-Three approach to consciousness studies. I have a reputation for scrupulously giving credit where credit is due, as thousands of footnotes readily attest, but the suggestion that I got this idea from de Quincey just left me totally speechless (as it did every person I talked to about his article). But de Quincey is quite right about one thing: there is indeed some extensive, unconscious borrowing going on here.[8]

I have seen entheogen scholars reluctant to credit each other, and eager to dismiss and criticize each other, lopsidedly. I *try* to give credit where due, but it's hard to keep track, and sometimes speedy thinking tosses such historical accidents of who first thought of what out the window as an irrelevant burden -- but it would help if each author would provide a list of what they consider to be their innovative contributions. I believe I once posted such a list -- I should post a repeated and reworded version.

I could write posts, or new posts, reflecting on the topic of intellectual property. I have written on it, but these may be hard to find. When I upload my past posts, I will reoutline so you can find my writings. This would help me: people would understand my ideas (and identify my innovations/ original contributions and distinctive emphases) because they could find them straightforwardly, a problem Wilber now has to deal with even though he's formally published books; people still garble his position or past evolution of positions.

>>CONCLUSION

>>We have seen that, of the ten or so major issues that de Quincey addresses in my work, he substantially misrepresents every one of them. I have in each of those cases given what de Quincey says, followed by direct quotes of mine showing what I actually said, and readers can see for themselves the jarring discrepancies.

>>Obviously, the question arises as to why this happens. I will set aside any personal or professional motivations of de Quincey's (I really don't know him), and instead focus on what seems to me the sufficient reason for such widespread misunderstanding of my work: the sheer volume of the material. I also have a tendency to write on two levels--the main text and the voluminous endnotes, and often my nuanced position is buried in the endnotes. There is also the fact that I constantly try to incorporate criticism into my work and alter my ideas based on responsible criticism--hence the four major phases of my work, with others surely to follow (thus, the idea that every time somebody criticizes me I claim that I am being misunderstood is ludicrous; if that were the case, I would never have presented any model beyond wilber-1. Even de Quincey acknowledges that "Wilber has a way of assimilating and accommodating the barbs of his critics"--a backhanded compliment for the fact that I greatly appreciate responsible criticism and do whatever I can to fix any problems with my presentation.) But this often means that somebody will give a blistering attack on, say, wilber-2, and that attack gets repeated by others who are trying to nudge me out of the picture, with the result that, as the editors of A Guide to Ken Wilber concluded, over 80% of the published and posted criticisms of my work are based on misrepresentations of it.

>>Keith Thompson offers what I think are two cogent criticisms of the way I write as contributing to this problem. I believe he is correct on both counts.

Keith Thompson wrote:

>>>Having said all of that, do I find Wilber maddening? Yes. Surely not in all respects, but very much so in some. The annoying problem that I have found in attempting to criticize Wilber's work is that he often states his actual, detailed position on a topic in several obscure endnotes spread over several books (this is certainly true with his treatment of Whitehead; also his theory of semiotics, his actual stance on intersubjectivity, holography, etc.). Then, since in the main text of his books, he tries to be more popular, he often gives simplified, popularized, and therefore sometimes slightly misleading accounts of his real position. If you want to criticize him, criticize him for that! It has gotten tons of reviewers into real trouble, because they take his popularized statements at face value. Of course, Wilber's defenders then come back with the actual quotes about his real position, dug up from some obscure endnotes, and the reviewer looks like an idiot. This can be very exasperating, but still, it doesn't excuse critics misrepresenting his actual or more sophisticated position.

>>>Speaking of Wilber's defenders: Shambhala is about to add a new feature to Wilber's domain of the Shambhala Web site. It's going to be called "Wilber Watch," and it's going to identify misrepresentations of Wilber's views. I told a friend who works at Shambhala that this seemed to me, well, a bit funny. He said in one sense he agreed... but then he forwarded to me many illustrations of said misrepresentations, and I was frankly amazed. Most involved egregious misreadings of Wilber's work, some of so studied in their mistaken conclusions that it was hard not to attribute bad faith to their promulgators.

How many past and future criticisms of my theory, The Cybernetic Theory of Ego Transcendence, including the maximal entheogen theory of religion and the entheogen determinism theory of the core of religion, are misrepresentations (including misrepresenting various aspects of entheogen experience & potentials) based on such "bad faith"?

>>>By the way, not a single one of said "misrepresentations" was simply a matter of the writer reaching different interpretations than Wilber. Ken has repeatedly said he has no problem whatever with anyone reaching different conclusions than his. I have watched many Integral Institute participants do that time and time again, sometimes quite vociferously disagreeing with Ken. Each and every time, Ken has nodded and said something like, "Fair difference of interpretation.... I can see how you reach that conclusion."

>>>At the same time, Ken has a very keen eye for "different interpretations of the data" that are in fact little more than misreadings (willful or not) of his work. I don't blame Ken's "defenders" for wanting to identify these and hold them up to a wide audience. (Wilber's section of Shambhala has gotten more than a million hits already this year.) A really good and valid criticism, it seems to me, would not be to try to attack his position on a single issue (like philosophy of mind or intersubjectivity), but call him to task for never producing a definitive glossary. For work spread out like his, that is inexcusable. I think he or his students are working on one (last I heard it was 400 pages), but he really needs to be kicked in the ass for this.

"A really good and valid criticism ... would not be to try to attack [Wilber's] position on a single issue ... but call him to task for never producing a definitive glossary. For work spread out like his, that is inexcusable. ... he really needs to be kicked in the ass for this.

People have pointed out the same in my discussion of a need for a glossary about Cybernetic Transcendence/Ego Death.

Ken wrote:

>>Point taken. I have also decided that there is no real way out of this morass of misrepresentation unless I start teaching my material. De Quincey's article was the straw that broke this camel's back. It was so off the wall that I decided I really needed to take some sort of action.

>>Nor can I count on the editors at professional journals to help me out here (Bob Forman is a major exception), because they face the same difficulties as everybody else. The managing editor of JCS was sent a long email by Keith Thompson pointing out the many inaccuracies in de Quincey's article (portions of that email were reprinted above). The editor declined to do anything about it, or even to print Thompson's corrections. Nor did the editor show me de Quincey's article before it was published; nor did the editor offer me a chance to respond to these distortions. Again, I don't blame editors for this; I doubt that I would give much space to a whiney author who's always complaining "That's not what I said!"

I would not ever use the word 'whiney'; I discourage use of it -- it is a dirty move, foul play, vague and nebulous, more confusing than helpful, a way of falsely appearing to refute someone's point.

>>The good news in all this is that it has spurred me to begin taking this material out in the world myself. This will also give people a chance to see me in the flesh, and thus decide if I am really the devil that their projections proclaim. (Of course, they might decide yes! But at least it will be based on real intersubjective impressions, not shadow projections.) I have already started doing this with Integral Institute, as Keith noted above, and we are starting a period in Integral Institute's history where this type of interaction will only be increasing.

I have written clearly my criticisms of Wilber, which do not misrepresent his position -- he has poor awareness of entheogens and determinism throughout religious-philosophical history, and really no coverage of the Mystery Religions, and his theory of myth is therefore way off-base (vague, inconsistent, and inchoate).

I need to again accurately summarize the delta (difference) between my position and Wilber's -- important because Wilber is a point of reference any philosopher today *must* position himself with respect to. Actually it's more a matter that I need to *organize* my existing available writings to gather my critiques of Wilber.

Challenge of finding time to read serious books

The impossible challenge of finding time to read serious books

I've been jamming through many fascinating books about religious experiencing, origins of Christianity, history of psychoactives, literary Bible hermenutics, theory of Greek myth... but the joy of collecting and reading these books is counterbalanced by the challenge of finding time to concentrate on reading them.

A person who spends time doing the ordinary and average U.S. activities asked me where I could possibly find the time to read so many books. "I lie, cheat, and steal to get the time to read." But it's not enough to lie, cheat, and steal to find the time to read books. I understand why to be holy one must shun society and become a hermit; why joining a convent was originally a great liberation, according to Pagels.

It's bullshit the way in the U.S. people are given Winter "vacation" but then they are expected to spend 100% of that "vacation" doing *mandatory* tasks: you have to buy presents, you have to wrap presents, you have to exchange and open presents, you have to visit relatives, you have to go to the parties of friends, family, and company, you have to sleep in with a hangover. And what time is left for using time freely, to read books? None at all. I have to practically hide from the world to get a damn thing done, to make progress in reading these books.

It's vexing -- I had "holidays" and a weekend to read, who stole it from me? I *have* made progress in reading, but only in spurts that are interrupted all too frequently. People have no respect for giving me a continuous *uninterrupted* block of reading and thinking time -- and they are probably not even able to imagine what it would take to provide that. Yes, much is my own weakness of discipline and focus, but I am also becoming aware of how much one's relations threaten to dominate and consume all of one's time, preventing higher pursuits. It would be different if these relations were intellectually challenging, but such socializing is, as a rule, a degraded killing of time together.

Perhaps my complaint isn't about how hard it is to do lofty things in such a predominantly low and vulgar world, but rather, how hard it is to concentrate on any particular dedicated pursuit in a world that has no focus but is only a chaos of random distractions."

 


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