Religion as revelation of determinist worldmodel
Ultimately and most purely, religion is the use of loose cognition to transform from the freewillist worldmodel to the determinist worldmodel.
What is the place of Christian Revelation in the Cybernetic Theory of Ego Transcendence? Christian Revelation is on the order of one of the seven principle areas in the Cybernetic Theory of Ego Transcendence. I use Christian Revelation to demonstrate the general theory that that religion is the use of loose cognition to transform from the freewillist worldmodel to the determinist worldmodel.
The pinnacle of Christian revelation is merely one component, one expression, of this universal cybernetic theory of transcendent knowledge -- a most important expression, but the cybernetic principles are what matters to the universe; the cybernetic revelation is the thing.
Low Religion is concerned with supporting free-will moralism and society. High Religion is the use of loose cognition to switch from a free-will worldmodel to a deterministic worldmodel, to achieve metaphysical realization. Low Religion dominated in Christianity, but High Religion dominated in the Mystery Religions.
Socially, Low Religion is often thought to be in conflict with High Religion. High Religion transcends Low Religion; High Religion respects and preserves Low Religion and its worldmodel, but High Religion goes beyond Low Religion (is largely a superset of it). This tension and the concern with determinism and the concern against determinism is seen in the "heresy" of Manicheaeism, which was a form of High Religion.
"Mystery" is the psychological hiddenness of determinism; determinism is at first hidden to the mind, but is revealed through loose cognition. Determinism has deep ramifications for the natural of morality and moral reality versus moral convention.
The tedious and absurd theology debates throughout the history of Christianity are outcomes of this fundamental tension between low (freewillist) and high (revealed-determinism) religion.
The mystery religions were many ways of dressing up and expressing this loose-cognition revelation of determinism, including seeking some sense of "transcending" the determinism that was revealed. The Stoics may have focused on ethics *because* their fatalism/determinism appeared to undermine ethics.
Low Religion, instead of properly transcending free will and then properly transcending determinism, tries to force them together incoherently, having it both ways at once, into the worldmodel that is essentially freewillist -- this is an ineffectual attempt to integrate the two worldmodels. That "shotgun wedding" forced combination of free will and determinism is undifferentiated and incoherent, rather than a coherently integrated "sacred marriage" of the two ways of thinking.
Ken Wilber's "transformation" concept in his "translation versus transformation" distinction is really none other than the transformation from the free-will worldmodel to the determinism worldmodel, along with the concomitant experiences, feelings, elevated emotions, and moral shifts. All his spirituality talk is the emotional half-felt intuition of determinism -- a folk experience of determinism expressed poetically and evocatively, without a formal or explicit philosophical model.
Recently I thought Wilber was pretty great despite his ignorance of entheogens. But lately that failed - he covers entheogens. He's still great despite something, what is it that he lacks that is the most essential thing? His failure to cover the subject of determinism and free will. His recent coverage of entheogens is relatively heavy. This lends support to my assertion that the religious use of entheogens is not itself the ultimate revelation; determinism is. Entheogens are the Holy Spirit but are not that which the Holy Spirit reveals.
Low Religion says that what Christ reveals in his mystery is simply himself -- this ends up being a tautalogy that goes nowhere and really "reveals" nothing at all. So do entheogenists bring us a revelation: of entheogens, again revealing really nothing at all. The secret is not the sheer existence of or use of entheogens -- it's what the entheogens reveal; it's a metaphysical principle: that of determinism and its moral concomitants.
To the degree that we initially experience our existence in the form of sovereign moral controller agents, to that degree is revelation a radically fundamental transformation about moral control agency, revealing the non-sovereignty of our control agency.
High Religion that lacks full rational development is expressed as feeling of unity, oneself as a helpless babe in the hands of the destroying/loving mother-matrix (man-sacrificer), the feeling of exemption, the feeling and emotion of forgiveness, *without* higher rational thought about these relationships and revelatory insights.
Do I have too strong an emphasis on determinism rather than associated points? The worldmodel I foremost dub "deterministic", when fully developed, includes unity-morality feelings *and* rational thoughts.
Translative religion is failure to transcend the free-will worldmodel. It demonizes the ego without precise metaphysical understanding what it is and what it is not. Ego is metaphysical free will -- and thus can only be killed by directly experiencing and rationally understanding determinism. Experiencing is limited by degree of rational understanding, and vice versa.
Devotional religion - is it real, genuine, authentic religion? It is Low Religion. What about the religion of new-age entheogen use? It lacks intellect, which also limits its fullness of experiencing. Feeling and intellect build each other up and limit each other if lacking.
"Determinism" as an experience is perceiving one's own thoughts as being given to or injected into the mind from a hidden, invisible, mysteriously unseeable source.
"Determinism" is full of meaning in my worldmodel. I'm defining a fully rich concept of "determinism", it is experiential and has full ramifications about personal agency and moral culpability.
Free will is associated with Christianity, the religion of free will, even if Low Christianity tries to adhere to natural naive free will but dumbly add determinism by force and fiat as a dogma/doctrine -- this is a kind of "regressive failure" (Wilber's concept). Low Christianity remains in the free-will delusion but tries to add determinism as a doctrine without letting go, in any way, of the impossible aspects of free will. It declares "the metaphysically free will is fully real, sin is really sinful" -- "but determinism and God's sovereignty is true too".
These are undeniably grouped together: supernaturalism, Literalism (rather than allegorical interpretation), free will taken as simple reality, use of inactive (non-cognitive-loosening) sacrament.
Late antiquity wanted to protect free will and individualism, but that delusory convention was too weak - it couldn't stand at all with the threat of determinism looming. So the late-ancient mind almost had to completely reject and suppress determinism, to form the ego in full.
Determinism had to be at first hidden by law (publically revealing the mysteries is a capital crime deserving ostracism), it had to be hidden deep away, then completely made illegal under all circumstances, to protect the new baby invention, egoic free-will individualism and a whole society built exclusively on this deluded, artificial convention.
There is an eternal apocalyptic cosmic war between free will and determinism. Michael and his determinist angels fought, the devil and his freewillist angels prevailed not -- in the battle that happens when time is ended in the mind, free will doesn't prevail. Angels don't have free will. Demons do have, or claim to have, free will.
Determinism is the fulcrum-point for the universal core religious experience, which is the loose-cognition transformation from a free- will worldmodel to a determinist worldmodel. The other experiences are minor accompanying concomitants; they merely follow the main event of the transformation to deterministic worldmodel; those should not be considered the main experience. For example, the unity feeling, or the new identification of the mind with stationary consciousness rather than mental constructs in motion, is not the fulcrum driving revelation.
The one-word answer for "What is hidden at first, but then revealed by loose cognition?" is "determinism" or "Fatedness", not "unity" or "consciousness". The word "determinism" lends itself better to having these ideas attached, than the word "unity" or "love" or "consciousness" or "enlightenment". Enlightenment amounts to determinism, more than enlightenment is unity or consciousness. What is revealed is determinism and its concomitants.
All other proposed single answers leave room for confusion. What word most forcefully shuts out possibility of confusion? "Determinism". Determinism is usually mis-defined as predictionism and domino-chain causality, instead of the non- branching singleness, fixity, and even pre-existence of the future. Still, after correction, "determinism" implies far more principles of High Religion than do the terms "unity", "love", "enlightenment", or "truth".
"Unity" is not the key to high religion. Neither is "consciousness" or "love". "Determinism" is the key to the knowledge revealed in high religion.
Religion is the use of loose cognition to transform from the freewillist worldmodel to the determinist worldmodel.
No-free-will: mere affirming vs. making central, redefining
At first glance, the fact that the cybernetic theory of ego transcendence includes no-free-will may seem unusual. However, upon further investigation of previous thinkers, it turns out that although somewhat swept under the carpet and politely whitewashed over, the no-free-will postulate is actually the mainstream view held by most mystics and philosophers and Reformed theology followers. So the mere inclusion of that axiom seems more controversial and unusual and distinctive than it actually is.
What is truly distinctive and unusual is that I place no-free-will, as an experience and object of intellectual comprehension, at the very heart and center of transcendent knowledge and religious experiencing, even more so than no-separate-self. My battle against other theorists is not that there is no individual free will, but rather, that no-free-will is the main, central, most important and most mind-blowing, worldview-transforming experience and principle.
The other theorists usually hide this principle in a footnote so that I have to actively search for their position on the subject. Theorists like Wilber either say nothing about it, or the fewest number of words possible. I've only found in Watts two, maybe three spots where he briefly touches on no-free-will, affirmatively, as an aside of little central relevance.
The other main thing to note about my treatment of no-free-will is that I reject the conventional determinist views as being a weak and irrelevant foundation, because those views are ego-style views, which here means temporal determinism, which uncritically takes the usual views of time for granted, taking the accustomed worldmodel of time for granted, and seeks to comprehend determinism within that egoic, moving-through-time perspective, into a future that is still egoically conceived as being essentially open or not-yet-existing.
That is a tensed-time, temporal, time-voyaging ego perspective, which assumes that since we now don't see the future, it doesn't exist, but "will inevitably" fall into place in a domino-like deterministic fashion. That whole picture of time is illiterate in the sense of being wholly uninformed by the mystic altered state of feeling, sensing, and perception.
In the mystic state, time is experienced as frozen, as an illusion, as stopping, or as strobing with each 60th of a second as a frozen-in-itself film frame. Given that feeling and perception, the mind quickly discovers that it is more natural and easy to conceive of time tenselessly, to think of the future as being eternally timelessly existing, with no personal egoic control-agent standing outside the system and creating its future from scratch.
Thus the type and style of "determinism" that I put at the center and heart of religious revelation is not the conventional, temporal conception of determinism -- we could call it "the egoic conception of determinism" -- but rather, the mystic-state, atemporal, frozen-time, frozen-future conception of determinism -- we could call it "the transcendent conception of determinism", or timeless frozen-future pre-existing future block-universe determinism.
It's odd that the lists of experiences common to the entheogen/mystic state are not expressed in terms of "experiencing no-free-will", but rather, in terms of a set of equivalent concepts instead, such as loss of control, feeling of merging with the world, sense of timelessness, and time stoppage.
There are many advantages of building a theory of religious revelation and enlightenment by using atemporal no-free-will as the foundation. This form of no-free-will principle can be both vividly experienced, and clearly conceptualized.
If *this* is what religion is actually centrally about, at the peak, and is the ultimate meaning of "transformation" of the personal mind, suddenly everything in religious philosophy becomes extremely specific and definite and verbally describable, in stark contradiction to almost all other theorists, who always claim that religious insight is elaborate and too subtle to be rationally conceptualized.
What is the key to creating an unassailable model of religious insight that is 1/100 the size of other theories, but has two or three times the scope? The key is building the model on a foundation of no-free-will, but on a version of no--free-will which is specifically an atemporal conception, rather than the familiar temporal conception that the ordinary-state philosophers habitually consider.
This foundation of atemporal no-free-will, as experience and insight, enables constructing a theory of transcendent knowledge and religious experiencing that is suddenly a hundred times more compact than existing models, and has two or three times the scope. This fits the definition of a revolutionary period of science, and paradigm shift, in which a new model is more comprehensible, more specific, more elegant, with fewer axioms, and a wider scope of explanatory power.
Now theorists have a choice: consider this specific, compact model as a framework for doing future, normal science, or continue to do normal science within the only other frameworks which we have, which are all vague, bloated, limited in explanatory power, intellectually unsatisfying, outside rational comprehension and specifiability, and ineffective at reproducing the mystic state about which they attempt to theorize.
One of the most interesting books that have yet to be written is a history of ideas about determinism, or "history of determinism". If any philosophy student is looking for the world's best thesis idea, there it is. No-free-will is an idea that, like so many, can be abused, has been abused, and has been suppressed because of its abuse-potential. For example, it has been used to justify the status quo by rulers: "Fate put my foot on your neck, so to resist my rule is rebellion against the will of the gods."
This is my main explanation for why no-free-will was kept as a secret punishable by death (actually the social death of ostracism) in some Hellenic mystery-religion -- the system of democracy was vulnerable, and aristocracy was always anointing itself as ordained by the gods -- no-free-will was associated with the claim of divine right of kings.
Certainly no-free-will has serious societal risks - but life is full of risk in any case. The free-will notion has been basic to some war-loving societies. I'm against any simplistic assumption that the no-free-will premise would *automatically* or necessarily lead to a better or to a worse world than today's largely malfunctioning world.
I've gotten good at bracketing off. I'm committed to making a tool: the theory of ego death -- a project that I entirely bracket off as distinct from all ethical, political, moral, and societal considerations. If people around me are hell-bent on mayhem and misuse of all tools, I'm not about to lift my arm to command the tidal wave to stop. Here is a tool. You can use it for good, or for evil -- If I am concerned with what you do with the tool, that concern is entirely distinct from my commitment to making the tool available.
My emphasis needs to be on clearly specifying and communicating the atemporal no-free-will idea, not on persuading skeptics or assuaging worries about the harmful potential of the tool. Step 1 for me is to craft the tool. Later steps may involve the other such considerations. In practice, clarifying and communicating this version of no-free-will involves contrasting it with the familiar conceptions of no-free-will.
>>In Western culture, the idea of "No-free-will" brings up an association with the commonly stated idea that "God allows us to have free will."
There is much Truth in the notion that God's greatest, infinitely precious and miraculous gift to us virtual-ego agents is free will, or more accurately, virtual sovereign free will and virtual moral agency.
>>The phrase itself conjurs up ideas of "fate," or a destiny people have no control over.
To kill ego, maximally insult it, stab it in the Achille's Heel (the one part of the body that wasn't made immortal). How to maximally insult ego? Grasp the great coherence of timeless no-free-will, both conceptually and experientially.
I rely not first on logic, in defending the theory as true, but rather, on intensity and effectiveness, in defending the theory as a definite potential that we undeniably have. Whether no-free-will is true or not, it is undeniable that the mind does have the potential to experience the sense of no-free-will and to conceive of no-free-will as a powerfully coherent idea.
It is an indisputable fact, requiring explanation rather than dispute, *that* people experience ego-death when they experience the sense of no-free-will and grasp the idea of no-free-will. The only sort of interesting debate regards the *interpretation* of the fact of the ego-death/no-free-will experience.
>>To pop Buddhists, they would interpret this as flying in the face of being unable to change "Karma." Words and ways of expressing things bring up associations with existing phrases in the mind.
Naturally, by my definition, the best Buddhist sages, mystics, and theologians are those who equate free-will with the separate-self delusion, and reject both at once. Naturally, I feel that shallow thinkers consider metaphysical free will a meaningful and coherent possibility, while I feel that deep thinkers, almost by definition, are those who laugh at the idea as pre-philosophical, animalistically shallow, instinctive, folk-assumption.
By my definition, no real philosopher worthy of the name could conclude in favor of metaphysical free will. Again, as in all these fields, we should introduce a new distinction: low philosophy, and high philosophy. Low philosophy is uninformed (or barely informed) by the mystic altered state.
High philosophy is highly informed by the mystic altered state -- this is like Charles Tart's call for "state-specific science", which I simplify into "2-level thinking": in each field, there is low-level thinking, which isn't informed by loose cognition, and high-level thinking, which is.
Most folk thinkers and most professional philosophers these days only know low-level thinking -- a mode which favors, by default, the animalistic/childish assumption that the free-will notion is a logically coherent possibility "and fits with what we experience". Notice how they have the foolish nerve to talk about "what we experience" as though they had even begun to explore the range of human experience.
They ought to ask the experienced mystics "what we experience" regarding the sense of free will, per Tart's "state-specific science". In the normal state, we experience the sense of flowing time, open future, self-control, and free will -- no wonder ordinary-state, low-level philosophy offers a choice between free will, a blend of free will and determinism, or a conception of determinism that is a thin layer of determinism wrapping the same old thoroughly freewill-oriented mode of thinking.
Most Reformed theology is the same, preaching a veneer of determinism, but being in practice just another freewill-assuming system of moral agency at its core. But in the intense mystic altered state, the standard mode of experiencing is frozen time, fixed future, no self-control, and a kind of determinism that affects and transforms every part of the mind's worldmodel: standard for the mystic state is no-free-will as an experience as well as a comprehended super-idea.
The natural philosophy for normal-state minds is free-will philosophy even when sometimes logic leads to a doctrine of determinism (which really cannot be integrated with the rest of the normal-state view of the world). The natural philosophy for mystic-state minds -- for loose-cognition -- is no-free-will philosophy. Just as it takes an unnatural effort for the normal-state mind to conceptualize and affirm determinism, so it takes an unnatural effort for the mystic-state mind to conceptualize and affirm free will.
Thus I say that the song Free Will, while resolutely affirming Free Will, does so in an ironic and problematizing way. The normal mind doesn't have to resolutely commit to free will; it is taken for granted as the given feeling and assumption, all throughout that worldmodel and mode of cognitive association. The most efficient way to characterize the difference between lower and higher thinking, the lower and higher self, the uninitiated and perfected initiate, is the deeply integrated assumption of free will or no-free-will.
Ego *is* free will -- the sense of free will and the mental worldmodel that the mind builds around that sense. Ego is also the separate-self sense, but if we characterize ego as "the illusion of being a separate controller", the most potent and pivotal word is "controller", *not* "separate". Popular Buddhism emphasizes "there is no *separate* controller", and few become enlightened by that boringly familiar non-news, the opposite of a revelation.
Their mistake, likely a willful one, is avoiding the far more potent statement that really gets to the point: "there is no separate *controller*" -- no-free-will. The normal state has the sense of free-will and the conceptualization of "free will" even though the notion is pre-logical and doesn't hold up to serious impartial scrutiny. The loose-cognition state has the sense of no-free-will and the conceptualization of "no-free-will" that naturally follows from the mode of experiencing.
>>In real Buddhism there is what is called the "Stage of non-retrogression."
The most important meaning of the stage of non-retrogression is allegorized as the cessation of rebirth, which means passing the point at which the egoic illusion and the egoic worldmodel will resume their dominance. At this point, a big asterisk is affixed to the ego-sense and to the worldmodel built around the ego-sense, with a big label that finally stays attached even when the normal state returns: "practical illusion of convention".
When the mind permanently retains the understanding that the ego and egoic worldmodel are only a practical illusion of convention, then that mind has reached the stage of non-retrogression, and has attained sainthood, including perseverance of the saints.
After the first few loose-cognition sessions, the mind is a backslider: it keeps attaining short peak moments of sainthood but falls back into egoic sinful delusion of being a genuine metaphysically morally culpable agent; it falls back into sin, evil, the flesh, incarnation, rebellion, rebirth, samsara. It has only glimpses of nirvana, salvation, enlightenment, Good, Spirit -- mere momentary cessation of rebirth, not permanent cessation of rebirth.
After enough deep thinking and loose-cognition sessions, the mind finally becomes able to coherently willingly sacrifice its firstborn childself; righteously sacrifice the will-less sheep; kill the willful goat-self, become permanently cleansed of impurity, participate in the final and entirely effective sacrifice, remain forever in heaven/nirvana.
>>In a shallow dogma sense this is the state of attainment where a eprson on the road to enlightenment gets to a point where they can no longer "backslide."
>>Experientially this stage of non-retrogrsssion, is really a point in a entheogenic experience, where the various thoughts in the mind, which distract from pure focus, no longer effect the process.
Experientially this stage of non-retrogrsssion is really a point in a series of entheogenic experiences, combined with sustained increasing intellectual and linguistic sophistication, where the various egoic-mode mental construct association matrixes, which distract from simple perception and coherent thinking, no longer are forcefully engaged, and can now be augmented by an alternative mode of perception and conceptualization regarding space, time, control, will, and self.
>>To explain, the process of stopping the mind as in Chi Kuan meditation as the entheogen takes effect, involves focusing and "neither being repulsed or attracted." But experientially, once the mind actually does stop and the process of the "opening of the middle way," takes over, then the mind can again think and ruminate, without it causing one to be distracted. In this way, the process takes over and in this way is like the idea of "no-free will."
>>Perhaps the phrase "no-free will" has a negative connotation to the majority of people.
*Certainly* the phrase "no-free-will" is the greatest possible insult and threat to all egoic-structured minds everywhere. My theory amounts to a proposal that I've found a poison or weapon that is a thousand times more powerful, a thousand times more caustic and deadly and threatening to the ego than the existing safe, placebo, innocuous religions which are so clearly *not* a threat to the ego but rather a *comfort* to the ego.
This brings in my take on Wilber's Boomeritis concept; most religion serves to bolster and comfort and boost the ego -- that's what low religion is about, boosting and supporting egoic thinking. Low religion is designed to be the opposite of a threat to ego; its driving purpose is to affirm egoic thinking, even by telling ego how wonderfully non-egoic it is, so that the claim of ego-transcence is perverted into just another way of more deeply entrenching the egoic mode of thinking.
Low religion is the egoic conceptualization of what ego transcendence is about -- an entirely different conceptualization than the transcendent conceptualization of what ego transcendence is about. Even the low religion which superficially asserts no-free-will as doctrine, still remains, at the core and throughout, freewillist and egoic in character.
There is a twisted Islamic notion of "you should reject, refuse to act on your free will", which is likely to affirm the reality and power and sovereignty of the egoic will all the more, the more it's presumably denied.
What effective method is there for repudiating the free will or the ego? There can be no more effective method than experiencing the sense of no-free-will at the same time as conceptually grasping the elegant coherence of the worldmodel that is consistently integrated with the principle or concept of no-free-will.
In practice, particularly in a Christian culture, I would say it's impossible to experience and comprehend this without also recognizing the crucifixion as a flawless, efficient symbol of the no-free-will principle and the transformation from the childish freewill mental model to the mature no-free-will mental model. However, so recognizing the high mythic meaning of the crucifixion does require some specialized domain-specific knowledge.
Many images of the crucifixion are impoverished. The ideal portrayal of it would include the sign "king", the speared heart, the speared side, the skull at the base of the cross, God and holy spirit over the cross saying "this is my son", opened graves at the base, flame coming from the heart, crown of thorns, crown of thorns around the heart, uneven feet.. but especially, the sign "king" and crown of thorns.
The main idea is that crucifixion is the fate of the false claimant to kingship, who is put down and disproven -- the disproven would-be sovereign.
People who want to explore entheogens and use them as a tool are likely to instead confront this classic problem that insists on raising its head -- the nuisance of the inadvertent rediscovery of the control vortex, the problem of self-control, which leads to religious insight and enlightenment, even if one merely intended to make a breakthrough in, say, DNA science, or if one only wanted to have fun, as in Led Zeppelin's acid-rock song "In My Time of Dying" -- "If my wings should fail, please meet me with another pair, so I can die easy".
Enlightenment as riddle about determinism
Holland is the land of the rebellion of the Protestants against the Roman moralistic version of Christianity. The produce from the Holland smartshops and coffeeshops teaches how much and how cleanly (or elegantly) determinism is the key to revelation, enlightenment, reconciliation, completion, and salvation.
The Holy Spirit, arrived through the eucharistic produce, presented some ideas that were too embarrassingly simple to see. One's first reaction to the words that were written by the Holy Spirit was that the solution is too simple.
The Holy Spirit offers a full-fledged religious system based on the mere limited topic of determinism. How can perceiving determinism be the key and essence of Christian revelation? How can the simple concept of determinism be the revelation and the enlightenment, and the key essence of ego-death?
But this very simplicity has a superhuman clarity and brevity and fits the necessary shape of an answer to a riddle. Basically the mystery religions pose a riddle: what concept is so simple that it can be simply told as a hidden secret, yet is so deeply profound and full of fundamental ramifications that comprehending it is the peak religious experience and revelation?
What change of mind is so deep yet simple that it can be discovered in a moment and changes everything from the root? The answer is, the transition from naive freewillism to comprehending determinism. That transition is the mystical death and resurrection into new life as a child fully authored by the creator of the future.
It is disappointing to find such a tersely simple and complete solution to the riddle of the meaning of religious experiencing. It is a forsaken feeling to discover this perfect, compact solution. Suddenly all revelation and transcendent knowledge is resolved down to a single concept.
This suggests that a main function of the "Christian mystery" is to hide the solution; to introduce the unsolved riddle, to introduce a separation: the separation between the state of not understanding and the state of understanding.
The forthcoming book _Jesus and the Lost Goddess_ discusses the imperceptibility of the source of our actions. Our thoughts and actions emanate from a source outside our mind and unavailable to our mind -- this is a main sense of the term "showing the mystery".
This idea is a fine idea but must be *experienced* first-hand, to attain completion or maturity. The true eucharistic sacrament enables the mind to *experience* its thoughts and actions as emanating from a source outside the mind, a source that cannot itself be perceived.
Frozen-future determinism is potentially a simple key to make sense of the various mystic ideas about salvation. Either enlightenment and revelation is very simple, or very nonsensical, complicated, and incomprehensible.
Without the eucharistic holy spirit, revelation or enlightenment is nonsensical, complicated, and incomprehensible. With the eucharistic holy spirit, revelation and enlightenment are very simple. Either the path is endless and formless, or short and direct.
As Ramesh Balsekar teaches, enlightenment is simply and centrally concerned with discovering determinism -- and especially, contrasting our natural unenlightened assumption of freewill against our inspired enlightened discovery of fixed-future determinism. The discovery of egolessness is the perceiving of the fixity, even preexistence, of the future.
Ramesh Balsekar portrays Advaita Vedanta as enlightenment and release from ego-delusion through embracing determinism. His interview was *the most* controversial article in the history of the magazine What Is Enlightenment?
Balsekar's system is not completely adequate or well-expressed, but his thinking -- his solution to the question "How can the mind transcend ego and attain enlightenment?" -- does have the *extreme* simplicity that can be a hallmark of transcendent realization.
It is possible to make complete sense out of theology -- orthodox Protestant and Catholic as well as Gnostic -- in terms of determinism as the key, the riddle-solution, the heart, the foundation stone.
How can the mind transcend ego and attain enlightenment? The only possible solution is that which is utterly simple and makes sense like the solution to a riddle of the ages. The keys to solving the riddle: o Consider the eucharistic sacrament as entheogenic food and drink that gives allegorical mythic-state experience o Contrast the egoic freewillist assumption against the transcendent determinist revelation. o Consider Christ as one's higher self that is consciously conceived of as embedded in the frozen block universe and cast forth wholly by that universe. o Consider the crucifixion as the logical death of oneself conceived as a would-be freewillist sovereign egoic agent. o Consider Jesus as purely an allegorical figure rather than a literal man.
The whole problem of what religious revelation is, turns out to be a simple riddle, with the solution being a switch from the default in- practice assumption of freewillism to the deliberate and enthusiastic embrace of ego-refuting frozen-future determinism.
http://www.advaita.org/aftalks.html -- with comments inserted by mh - "Wayne [Liquorman, also known as Ram Tzu] is the man to whom Ramesh Balsekar refers as his "spiritual son." He received the understanding [about egolessness and determinism] in 1989, but has not spoken on the subject until recently. He is the author of [the funny deterministic-enlightenment book] No Way: For the Spiritually "Advanced" and [the book] Acceptance of What IS...A Book About Nothing as well as the editor of Consciousness Speaks and other books by Ramesh Balsekar. He teaches ancient Advaita (non-duality) in a thoroughly modern, humorous, hard-hitting way, without compromise, religious dogma, or New-Age veneer. Wayne offers us no cures, exercises, miracles, or techniques to reach Enlightenment. He gives us nothing to join, nothing to do, nothing to attain. With Wayne, you may see that you are already complete, that there is nothing missing, nothing broken, therefore there is nothing to repair, nothing to get [besides comprehending how determinism implies egolessness]."
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0929448197 -- Interesting: like Alan Watts, Wayne Liquorman was an alcoholic -- and alcoholism is essentially about the problematic loop of self-control cybernetics. "...lengthy dialogues with his visitors, many of whom are precariously suspended over the void, holding onto a few remaining threads of belief in their own ideas concerning choice, control, decision-making..."
Definitely read the original controversial article from issue #14, that was reprinted in the latest issue (#20, probably):
Close Encounters of the Advaita Kind: The Euphoric Nihilism of Ramesh Balsekar. by Chris Parish.
The epilogue was particularly controversial:
Current issue of What Is Enlightenment? Probably #20; mailed out in October 2001: "Celebrating 10 Years of Radical Spiritual Inquiry -- Can Buddhism survive America? Is sex more important than God? Instant enlightenment? In this special anniversary issue, WIE presents a fascinating journey through 10 years of radical spiritual inquiry featuring a fresh look at the provocative themes, inspiring individuals and enlightening interviews that helped make our first decade in print a resounding success."
Determinism is the key overlap between:
o Balsekar's Advaita Vedanta Hinduism
o Protestantism -- that is, Calvinism (especially politically-motivated emancipatory Calvinism, which is the most urgently and emphatically hard-line, theologically)
o Gnostic determinism
o Stoic determinism
o Hidden-variables quantum mechanics of Einstein/ Bohm/ Shrodinger, as opposed to Copenhagenism of Bohr
>>Are you saying that you alone have discovered the one true path, and to follow it one must routinely take mind-altering drugs?
I am the first to provide a modern explicit systematization of the perennial philosophy-religion. Not at all the first to discover the path -- rather, the first (as far as historical records reveal) to publish a systematic model of the age-old perennial path. Such systematization includes identifying the allusions to visionary plants throughout religious myth. Visionary plants are deeply related to determinism.
Some scholars now write to some extent advocating both determinism and visionary plants -- such as Timothy Freke -- but not in an integrated way; whereas my theory combines them in a tightly integrated way. Mystic experiences, including of determinism, are triggered through other methods, but not nearly as directly as by visionary plants, mind-altering drugs, or psychotomimetic hallucinogenic poisonous intoxicants such as Hemlock.
I firmly invert the assertion of the recent trendy spirituality Establishment that entheogens give a faint glimpse of what the "traditional, meditation-based" method produces; the truth is the opposite both historically and in terms of ergonomic efficacy. Weak methods of triggering the mystic state are shown to be ineffective by the fact that they fail to produce an overwhelming experience of determinism.
Today's popular meditation-based spirituality is bunk because it fails to produce an experience of determinism, or more specifically a series of mystic-state initiation experiences leading up to a full investigation of determinism and a reconciliation of oneself as a personal controller agent with determinism.
Although most religion today and some unclear percentage of pre-modern religion is bunk, lacking the effective visionary plants and their resulting series of encounters with determinism, the origin and timeless ongoing source and wellspring of religion -- the perennial core of religion -- is the use of visionary plants to trigger the experiencing of and intellectual perception of determinism.
Erik Davis (author of TechGnosis) tells me he knows this Theory but has gone beyond determinism, as though transcendent knowledge is concerned with more important things than determinism.
Against such a view, I firmly maintain that determinism -- acceptably including grappling to somehow transcend determinism -- is the final and ultimate concern of religion; the religious mystical path never in an important sense moves "beyond" the concern with determinism; the concern with determinism is the ultimate goal of religion, and the first characterization of Heaven or Nirvana is that it is conscious of determinism.
After consciousness of determinism, the second characterization of Heaven is that it contains the apple -- visionary plants -- ubiquitously, permitted to eat now that one has paid the death penalty, sacrificing the lower, original, freewillist-thinking based self-conception.
In the original eating of the forbidden apple -- visionary plants that reveal determinism and therefore kill the egoic freewill delusion -- one both dies and does not die; both God and the Snake are correct, because one continues to literally live bodily, but one dies and is reborn in terms of experience and in terms of one's mental worldmodel regarding time, self, and control.
Some determinists accuse religion of being the source or promoter of the freewill delusion. Such a story is largely false in that it is simplistic. The historical reality is richly complex. The most central, controversial, and controverted concern of philosophy, myth, mysticism, and religion is freewill and determinism. All varieties of attitudes and views about the nature of freewill and the nature of determinism have swirled around throughout philosophy, throughout mysticism, and throughout religion.
A common mystic systematization of progress through mystic experiencing involves a progress from freewill thinking to determinist thinking and -- for some schools -- on to an even more transcendent sort of divine freedom that absolutely affirms determinism and yet postulates a spirit that is, first of all and most characteristically, transcendent of cosmic determinism, Necessity, Fate, or Stoic Heimarmene.
A key question is whether Plotinus (Neoplatonism) posits that sort of spiritual transcendence of determinism, or whether it stops at the revelation of determinism.
The idea that "religion is the source of the freewill delusion" is an oversimplistic story, and thus is a distortion and misunderstanding. Mystic religion strongly emphasizes determinism, and also often attempts to affirm and yet transcendently escape or "spiritually" transcend determinism, from a position of full appreciation and experiencing of determinism.
Mystics have a deeper awe-filled respect and fearful vulnerability to determinism, and often postulate rescuing divinities or transcendent planes of the psyche that are so high, even higher than determinism. It's too simplistic to say that religion or mystics is deterministic or freewillist. Only a reasonably qualified and characterized description suffices to have an accurate appreciation of the relation between religion and freewillism.