Overview/Intro to the Theory of Ego Death
For a better summary, see:
Note: April 7, 2006 – the below underemphasizes control-transcendence and determinism-transcendence.
Hypersimplified axioms of the simplest possible model of transcendent knowledge
In ego death, the mind is utterly dependent on transcendent rescue by a Transcendent Strange-Control-Loop Rescuer -- whether considered as a mysterious thing, principle, universal law, divine entity, or archetype.
Entheogens work; meditation doesn't. Visionary plants bring the mystic state and enlightenment and spiritual experience. Meditation doesn't bring the mystic state, enlightenment, or spiritual experience.
Religious founder figures are mythic-only. There was no Jesus, Abraham, Buddha, or Mohammed. Religious founding figures (who are venerated as the creator of a religion and the central holy figure of the religion) are not actual historical individuals. There was no Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Paul, John, Mary, Peter, James, Moses, or Abraham.
Myth describes the mystic state, not ordinary life. Myth is about intense mystic experiencing, not ordinary life. Myth serves one function: to describe the phenomena and insights of the intense mystic state.
Enlightenment is simple and rationally explainable. Enlightenment can be fully described and explained simply, quickly, and rationally.
There is no free will. Free will and separate self are conventional illusions. There is no metaphysically free will, as surely as there is no separate self. The freedom enlightenment gives is not naive impossible metaphysical free will, but enlightened practical freedom.
Real religion is based on visionary plants. Religions are actually centered on visionary plants.
Enlightenment is about transcendent knowledge, not daily life.
Moral enlightenment is about the illusory nature of freewill moral agency, not about ethical conduct.
Exoteric religion is false and fit only for children or pre-initiates, if anyone. Esoteric religion is true and is the only appropriate religion for the mature.
Enlightenment requires transcendent knowledge and experience with visionary plants.
Enlightenment is largely about limitations.
Transcendent humility is completely tangential to ordinary humility. Transcendent humility is essentially different than ordinary interpersonal humility or self-deprecation.
The importance of determinism, entheogens, and denying the historical Jesus in favor of a mythic-only Jesus/Christ
This particular combination of distinctive ideas holds together to very effectively and most immediately produce a certain kind of ego death experience.
Consider treating determinism as an optional, non-primary, non- critical component of the model of ego death I'm formulating. What if someone concentrated on all the ideas I put forward, but neglected to consider determinism/fatedness, or crticially or uncritically concentrated on a freewillist framework of thinking?
Consider treating mythic-only Christ as an optional, non-primary, non- critical component of the model of ego death I'm formulating. What if someone concentrated on all the ideas I put forward, but neglected to consider mythic-only Christ, or crticially or uncritically concentrated on a historical Jesus, or supernaturalist Jesus, or fairy-tale debunking/anti-transcendent, materialist framework of thinking?
Consider treating entheogens as an optional, non-primary, non- critical component of the model of ego death I'm formulating. What if someone concentrated on all the ideas I put forward, but neglected to consider entheogens, or crticially or uncritically concentrated on a "drug-free religious insight" framework of thinking?
Why don't we ignore the mythic-only Christ theory, ignore determinism or embrace freewillism, or ignore or dismiss entheogens? What kind of an ego death systematic theory/model could remain? An ego death theory:
o Without any emphasis on the mythic-only Christ theory
o With no emphasis on the freewill/determinism issue
o Paying no attention to entheogens.
A couple months ago I realized just how definitive and distinctive is my combination of determinism (timeless single fixed-future fatedness), mythic-only Christ theory, and entheogens. A crucial question for a theorist is to contribute something unique. If your theory is not unique, you're dead as an innovator. I often fear that someone else, in a new book, is expressing the theory I've hastened and labored to pull together first.
Books come out drawing a strong connection between religion and entheogens, or religion and determinism and freewill, or other combinations. My job is to explain how each new book containing higher revelations is inadequate and misses the target of an effective ego death theory. Many books initially seem to nail my theory, but then I realize the book fails to integrated determinism, or entheogens, or the mythic-only Christ. Because these are all so distinctive and controversial, and less commonly treated subjects, the set of these 3 topics becomes a reliable and effective test for the presence of my theory.
If a book were to cover block-universe determinism, interpretation of the Jesus figure on a basis of the mythic-only Christ, and entheogens, there is almost bound to be my theory. The mystic altered state is infinitely more effectively engendered by entheogens than other methods. Once you have the mystic altered state on tap, you are in a position to reflect upon Christian myth truly as myth, fully independent of needing the additional hypothesis of the historical human Jesus: you can begin recognizing and experiencing aspects of the stories of the crucified rebel would-be sovereign; you can start thinking powerfully and experientially about spiritual crucifixion, metanoia, death and spiritual resurrection.
And once you have the mystic state on tap, you are ready to begin thinking about the ramifications of perceiving timelessness for the dynamics of personal control across time -- leading to a discovery of the breathtakingly elegant hypothesis of determinism, or rather, fixed-future fatedness.
Combining entheogens, the worldmodel of determinism or timeless frozen-future fatedness, and purely mythic thinking about the meaning of the Crucifixion, or the religious truth of the cruci-fiction, is the fastest way to experience and rationally understand ego death in contemporary Western culture -- at least, a specific, comprehensible, certain kind of ego death. If you focus on other topics and approaches, that will delay any ego death realization.
My goal is to define an approach to ego death that provides the most intense and complete kind of ego death as quickly and easily as possible -- the way to do this, given the contemporary Western culture, is to emphasize these three most disctintive subjects: entheogens, determinism as I define it, and purely mythic Christ. These are the topics or perspectives most commonly omitted from spiritual or theoretical accounts of ego death, and my solution is compensation by putting a strong emphasis on these key points.
In spirituality, the missing key idea is entheogens, so a truly good theory of religion now would emphasize entheogens. In Jesus studies, the missing key idea is the purely mythic Christ/Jesus, so to redeem the domain of Jesus studies, an emphasis is needed on the "purely mythic Jesus" theory. Another key missing idea that provides the framework for finally understanding the mystery religions and Hellenistic and general religious thought is determinism. There's not nearly enough emphasis on entheogens, mythic-only Jesus, and determinism (heimarmene) -- and ego death is not at all forthcoming in such a conceptual environment bereft of these emphases.
The missing ingredients that are lacking to make the mental bomb of revelation go off successfully, the aspects of maturity that are necessary before we can be taught to bring our minds to spiritual climax, are these three missing domains. If you take away the study of heimarmene or entheogens or purely mythic Jesus from this ego death theory, the theory will fail its goal of providing an amazingly ergonomic and convenient approach to a particular, intense kind of ego death experience and insight.
Other subjects are necessary, but are already (I wish to suppose) relatively common, such as semantic facility, such as is required to talk about the way in which ego is and is not an illusion, and to differentiate between the collapse of a probability wave versus the collapse (resolution) of our *knowledge about* the wave's resolution, or to shift in concert an entire set of meanings of terms such as 'ego', 'me', 'movement', 'guilt', 'responsible', and 'decide'.
I focus on the most critically absent ideas -- the difference between what we commonly know about religious experiencing and what we must know to most quickly bring about religious experiencing. The worst ignorance, about the things most sorely lacking for achieving ego death, is of the subjects of determinism (heimarmene), entheogens, and the mythic-only Jesus theory. Now, the entheogen theory is no longer new -- and yet it is; we have really only begun publically reintroducing entheogens into their proper central place on the sacred meal table in the dead center of religious activity, replacing the bunk, ego-sustaining placebo sacraments.
I have to build on the most advanced entheogen theories and make sure I start from there and move forward far past Huston Smith's tepid and tentative apologies for the "religion-simulating" potential of entheogens -- I have to be the next generation after James Arthur, Clark Heinrich, Huston Smith, R. Gordon Wasson, and Albert Hofmann.
I move into a different paradigm, in which entheogens are so taken for granted as to almost disappear -- or rather, to become merely one of a multitude of primary domains to at last integrate, together with determinism (heimarmene) and the mythic-only Jesus allegorical paradigm. Entheogens are merely one of a set of crucial model- construction tools -- in this, my attitude is the same as Ken Wilber, who centrally focusses on "altered states" instead of entheogens in particular.
I take it for granted that entheogens are the source of religious experiencing, that insight leads to determinism, and that the fullest grasp of Christian religious insight is based on a mythic-only Jesus. The problem then that I must contribute work on is showing how these three axioms, with other domains, work together to bring ego death immediately, effectively, and far more conveniently than any other set of ideas and approaches. If you remove this emphasis on determinism (fixed-future, block-universe fatedness), you immediately lose the possibility of a convenient, direct approach to bringing about the climax of ego death.
My theory of religion, optimized for cogent simplicity and experiential effectiveness, has at least four distinctive emphases:
o No-free-will (albeit an atemporal block-universe preexisting future version, not the canonical temporal-chain version)
o Entheogens are by far the main way to trigger the intense mystic altered state;
o Purely mythic interpretation of Christianity and other main religions; none of the Bible figures are based on literal individuals with a highly focused dependence; only very loosely based on types of existing individuals such as the many Jewish rebel leaders.
o Commitment to full rational comprehensibility; rationality is a main requirement and the vehicle of enlightenment. Part of this is mastery of how networks of word-meanings can shift.
Even the best domain-specific dictionaries of concepts are hard to read, such as Jonathan Ott's righteous book The Angels' Dictionary (packaged in a volume with the perfect short book _The Age of Entheogens, The Pharmacratic Inquisition, and the Entheogenic Reformation_). Still, I may post a domain-specific glossary soon, because that way I can provide very wide coverage of concepts that readers have voted as interesting.
As cybernetic ego-death and loose-cognition theorist from the techgnostic era of the late 1980s, how do I view schizophrenia? the crucified claimant to kingship? the puppethood experience of determinism? the transcendent plane? Quantum theory? mystery religions?
I took this glossary approach in analyzing the poll results http://groups.yahoo.com/group/egodeath/surveys?id=10138827 and it enabled me to break away from my current grappling with allegorical Christianity, for a bit.
Why this theory that has a simple, small core still requires much connection to other systems before it becomes interesting:
The entire cybernetic theory of ego transcendence, or theory of ego death and rebirth, would be conveyed concisely simply through definitions of the terms listed at the poll. That would require about 4 hours of easy writing.
I wish I could say that these subjects are clearly covered at the site, but unfortunately, many of my best postings, from two years ago to 6 months ago, haven't been uploaded to the site. But there really isn't much to be said about each subject; a glossary entry is plenty sufficient to put forth this essentially simple set of ideas. The list of subjects itself conveys the theory and the perspective.
Any theory covering this specific scope of topics is bound to say essentially the same thing. The set of topics already defines the theory, the experiential techniques, and the mental perspective. Some people say my writing has too many words. But the challenge is to think of anything to say beyond the minimum, for which a glossary entry is perfectly sufficient.
I have stated the purpose of the site, I have defined terms, and I have written on other subjects people are looking for. However, this material is scattered and buried. So a clear, findable glossary and statement of purpose are needed. I will consider these as my next areas of focus after finishing this pass of studying the esoteric origins of Christianity.
Popularity is not a goal for the discussion group. I haven't deliberately promoted it. Still, I often wonder what people would like in the discussion group. The members' motives and concerns are a complete mystery to me.
I am focused on the leading-edge development of the theory itself (the cybernetic theory of ego transcendence) -- originally focused on the core theory but lately focused on connecting that core theory to traditional culture and established ideas -- and am not currently concerning myself with clarity at an introductory level. I am prepared for weekly turnover of the entire membership of the discussion group; the criteria that I steer by has always been the rate of progress of the theory.
The Theory is inherently essentially simple and explicit -- contradicting the assertions of all scholars who say ego death is hard to explain. Ego death is actually easy to explain, but it connects with so many established areas of thinking, and changes our take on these established fields and ideas so deeply, that it does take a few years of idea development to put forth a Theory that is both clear and relevant to the various related fields.
While I develop these ideas, my level of writing is not hard to understand, by scholarly standards. Eventually a clean presentation of it will be easy to understand. But this is new research, new combinations of ideas. Some people may find it slightly out of reach, somewhat demanding. Other people have *readily* grasped the ideas, fully.
A couple people have posted here showing that they fully understand the overall way of thinking; they have filled in some blanks that I didn't and contributed to the Theory. It would be great to see more of that.
A glossary would address most of the difficulty that people report. Perhaps I should add a link to the Summary of the theory at the bottom of each posting. I don't consider college to be much of an education, so I would agree that I am writing at a graduate-student level while I develop these ideas.
The epitome of goldfish-bowl scholastics is the book Evidence That Demands a Verdict, which is pathetic by any measure and is even a poor representation within its own class. It supposedly seeks to convince skeptics of the plausibility and likeliness of literalist supernaturalist Christianity. The book is proof that even the most implausible, most magical-thinking worldview can erect a reality tunnel that doesn't collapse of its own weight.
Reality tunnels, each with their own standards of "plausibility" and "good sense", are a dime a dozen. This shows the problem with the "consistency" theory of knowledge, which holds that the most consistent model of the world is the one to be accepted as most true. Each model has its own standards of consistency. I saw this in Dave Hunt's impeccably logical and consistent theory of "spirit-creatures".
Radical relativism is a serious problem, and only a shallow thinker could deny it. However, most people remain committed to common-sense standards of what seems most plausible and reasonable, and it's very important that we uphold this most delicate and valuable of baseless, faith-based assumptions. The reasonable thinker must admit that yes, ultimately there is no unassailable certain foundation for knowledge.
But it is a high ethical and practical value to try our best to be sober and reasonable by common-sense standards. I have a deep respect for the coherence of radical relativism, but we should fear it and resist it, consciously committing ourselves to common-sense standards.
Per the book by the Randian Leonard Piekoff, The Ominous Parallels, if we abandon common-sense standards and become radical relativists who disdain being limited by "petty" and "restrictive" assumptions that there is a single, definite reality, societal and mental chaos can quickly result.
The Copenhagenist interpretation of quantum physics smells fascist and dangerous to me; it is frightening, the *delight* with which such thinkers topple and undermine and deconstruct science, which has always sought to be reasonable and sober and a source of clarification rather than gleeful obfuscation. Supernaturalist, literalist theologians were thrilled to death to see science's rationality deconstructed that way, thrilled to see science undermined so effectively from its central core.
There is a certain irreducible aspect of goldfish-bowl scholarship involved in all of the project of gaining knowledge. Finally, in our solipsism at the misty top of some mountain, an angel asks each of us, "Forgetting about the rest of the world's opinion, what is *your* hunch about what is most plausible, and what worldmodel seems to ring most true?"
Our sense of common sense plausibility can be a guide, if not a sure foundation, for judging which goldfish-bowl reasoning seems most plausible given what we have experienced about how the world works.
Summary of Proposal for Most-Plausible Worldmodel
I propose that the most common-sense plausible model of the world and of transcendent knowledge is that all religion is essentially mythic, not literalist, and that the main purpose, origin, and nature of myth is to allegorically and metaphorically express the transcendent insights and experiences of the entheogenic intense mystic altered state. The mystic state is the state of loose cognition enabling revising mental-construct matrixes.
The main, ultimate experience and insight of the loose-cognition state is the experience (sense, feeling) of no-free-will and no-separate-self, combined with an easy and natural mental perception of a worldmodel that is plainly coherent, involving re-conceiving time as frozen, with all of the mind's future thoughts already preexisting in a single fixed track.
Though nothing is absolutely certain, this mental perception of this worldmodel is natural, coherent, plausible, and plain to see; once constructed by the exploring mind, that mental worldmodel would require more mental work to doubt than to accept.
The transcendent move of the mind also involves not only seeing that worldmodel, but also requires an unfamiliar act of *deliberately* choosing to believe or pretend to believe, what the mind no longer can easily believe, that the ego is in control of its future thoughts and wields the power of free will, as a sovereign, prime-mover control-agent.
The irony of transcendent rationality is that after overthrowing the delusion of individual free will and separate self, for purely practical reasons you must now, God-like, deliberately pretend and retain and embrace what you use to uncritically take for granted but can no longer rationally accept: conceiving of a worldmodel built around the notion of self-controlling, free-willing egoic agency.
The mind must learn to do consciously and insincerely what it previously did naturally in its former animal/child state: engage a worldmodel based around the separate-self, open-future assumption.
A hundred aspects of this model intensely contradict today's accustomed ways of thinking and regarding models as "plausible". But this model and explanation is remarkably unassailable, and when researched, turns out to have massive evidential and traditional support from many philosophers, theologians, and mystics, and scholars, and the undisputable effectiveness of entheogens. The very *heart* of myth and religion is entheogens and no-free-will, and emphatically *not* literalist religion. Today's accustomed theories are far off-base insofar as they consider religion to be not centered around entheogens, not centered around no-free-will as experience and irresistibly coherent and natural worldmodel, and instead centered around literalist thinking mixed with hazy spiritualism and mundane ethics.
By far the most sober and common-sense plausible model of transcendent mystic insight is that religion is firmly centered around entheogens, firmly centered around no-free-will as experience and irresistibly coherent and natural worldmodel, and not at all centered around literalist thinking, hazy spiritualism, and mundane ethics.
This theory is dirt-simple, easy to express, easy to experience and mentally perceive in the state of loose cognition, and we ought to have very good reason before rejecting its plausibility in favor of the alternative, which is no religion at all (mundane ethics), or complete haze and fog (New Age-style vague spirituality and anti-entheogen meditationism), or vulgar magic-thinking and supernatural superstition (literalist religion).
An essential part of expressing or defining this model is to emphasize that it is far more compact and well-founded, regardless of its combination of several startling ideas, and far more comprehensible and definite and specific, than other theories of religious experiencing. This model is far smaller and far simpler, with universal scope of explanatory capacity.
On these grounds alone, it would be madness to not carefully study and consider this model; the reasonable mind cannot proceed into other theories before considering this most simple and small of theories -- that would be like insisting that a hazy and complicated model is a higher priority for consideration than a compact and simple model.
This is why I consider this theory to be an inevitable discovery for contemporary theorists, that they are bound to trip across sooner or later, insofar as they are at all rational and genuinely seeking plausible understanding. In effect, this theory is a door that intelligent, rational theorists cannot avoid going through before moving on to explore and consider other worldmodels and explanations of religion.
The only way to avoid considering this model is to avoid intense and sustained use of loose cognition, and to commit to assumptions about moral agency and religion for reasons that are not actually scientific or philosophical in the sense of seeking a theory that is elegant, most comprehensible, and effective.
If people aren't really seeking a theory that is elegant, most comprehensible, and effective, but are actually engaged in some quite different project of constructing some system of morality and religion, then they may well avoid the simple explanatory model that is described here - the entheogenic, no-free-will, frozen-time, antiliteralist explanation of religious insight and religious experience.
Clear, specific comprehensibility of a theory of transcendent knowledge and religion is of top importance, and supports the theory that religion is, essentially and more than anything else, a matter of entheogenic experience of determinism.
This largely amounts to a debate about what the core of religion is: is the core of religion entheogen determinism as I say, or is it not? People say they agree with me that entheogens and determinism are central, but then they go on to vaguely assert that their scheme goes beyond these concerns, and that these concerns are not ultimate. I state, and the entheogen determinism theory of religion states, that the ultimate concern at the core of religion is *not something other than* entheogen determinism.
The entheogen determinism theory rejects the idea that entheogen determinism is just a transition phase concern; it is *not* a theory that entheogen determinism (and its direct concomitant concerns such as escaping from the deterministic cosmos) is an important waystation along the path; it is precisely and emphatically the theory that entheogen determinism is the main, goal, core, end-point, ultimate arena of concern, and that every other concern of religion is lesser.
Entheogen determinism is on the top of the pile, and there is or can be no higher concern, no matter higher in religion than entheogen determinism, nothing "after" entheogen determinism of equal or greater import; no way for anything to be "more ultimate" than entheogen determinism. To assert that one's own theory is more ultimate or that there is religious experiencing more ultimate than entheogenic-determinism ego death, is to immediately be in disagreement with the entheogen determinism theory.
Entheogen determinism and its ego death experience is not an important waystation in religion -- it is *ultimate*, the peak and final goal, the core and heart. Any other theory is vastly more nebulous and complicated and ghostly, not really even a theory at all. A fundamental principle of this theory is that *the core of religion is extremely simple* -- against all those who seek to use entheogen determinism's ego death as a mere waystation within a vastly more complicated and nebulous system or rather non-system.
Either religion is simple and about the goal of entheogen determinism egodeath, or religion is endlessly complicated; either perfection and sainthood and fulfillment, maturity, completion, purification is attainable and simple, or else these things are too complicated to be attainable. So the attempt to portray entheogen determinism as a mere waystattion is part of an evil scheme to make religion too complicated for anyone to attain and understand.
The only attainable, coherent, meaningful, and effective theory of religion is one that is utterly simple: purification is about enthoegenic determinism, *period*. Entheogen determinism is more ultimate than any other would-be theory or supposed theory (hazy marshland of vague thinking, actually). Either religion is simply a matter of entheogen determinism, or it is something that no one can ever possibly understand, and thus becomes wholly unreal.
This is why I am not merely disinterested in theories of religion that claim to go beyond entheogen determinism; I am actively and emphatically *against* such theories, which -- just like all the bad distorted religion -- *prevent* actual religious experiential insight while *claiming* to provide a good and venerable way to religious experiential insight. To assert that one's theory is beyond and is more ultimate than entheogen determinism is to not only gain nothing beyond my theory, but actually amounts to losing everything provided by my theory.
If you claim to go beyond entheogen determinism, this merely indicates that you don't really grasp entheogen determinism, and are thus in fact *prior to* and *lower than* the ultimate expeirential insight, which is entheogen determinism. Only by not really understanding entheogen determinism, can anyone claim, mistakenly and falsely and incorrectly, to have a theory that is "more ultimate" and "beyond" entheogen determinism.
If one puts the core and end goal of religion anywhere other than entheogen determinism, one proves to be lacking in knowledge of entheogen determinism, and is actually just wandering lost in overcomplicated, unreal, and fabricated dreams and notions of what religion is about. There is only one simple and attainable and comprehensible theory of religion, only one schematization that deserves the label "theory": the entheogen determinism theory.
If the entheogen determinism theory is not held to be the ultimate and peak goal, then we necessarily are flying blind with no actual theory whatsoever. There is really only one, uncontested contender for a *theory* of religion: the entheogen determinism theory and model of religion. There's really only one theory and model of religion that is actually a 'theory' and actually a 'model' and actually a 'system': the entheogen determinism system/model/theory.
One kind of challenge some people such as Erik Davis and Kourous Mystes have levied against my entheogenic determinism theory of religion is that entheogens and determinism are not the most important heart and core and insight of religion.
Their strategy is a matter of agreeing with my main points (affirming entheogens, affirming determinism, and affirming no-Jesus or affirming anti-euhemerist myth) -- but then going on to assert that true religion is mainly concerned with something beyond these. This way, they can portray my theory as inferior and theirs as superior, so that their theory appears to swallow up mine, taking full advantage of all my theory, and building theirs higher.
But there is always a pattern with a weakness: always, people who assert that they know all of my little theory and have moved beyond to the real core important point of religion, always put forth a vague and incomprehensible "alternative" or "further" core.
They say there is more to (true) religion than just my theory that real religion is essentially about using entheogens to experience and transcend determinism. But their assertion is never followed up by any clarification -- certainly not by anything as dirt-simple clear as my entire theory which is that religion is elaborate entheogenic determinism.
For core content of a theory, there are only two points that are truly important: entheogens, and determinism. Matters of euhemerism -- whether mythic figures such as Jesus are based on historical individuals -- are important, but not as important as the core principles, of entheogens as the main trigger, and determinism as the main discovery. Diagramming my theory, the core circle contains only entheogens and determinism.
As important as the theory of myth and the mythic nature of Jesus is, that's on the next ring out, outside the core circle in the diagram. Another factor that is extremely important but is more methodological and meta-theoretical, thus residing in the ring outside the core, is the principle of letting rational comprehensibility and conceptual specficness (clear and distinct ideas forming a clear and distinct theory) select which theory of religion one accepts.
The proposed theories that try to affirm my entire theory but assert that there is more important materials beyond and above my theory, all suffer from violating the principle of selecting a clear and distinct theory with clear and distinct and comprehensible building blocks.
Part of the entheogenic determinism theory of religion must be methodological, establishing a hard shell boundary around the core, and specifically refusing to be compatible and amenable to being subsumed by other theories that would assert that the core of religion is something other than (the accepted and affirmed) importance of entheogens and determinism.
My theory must have a way of saying "no, absolutely not, false, incorrect" to any theory that comes along and attempts to outdo mine by affirming its main points and then asserting that there are more important points still, outside my theory.
When we use the principle of rational comprehensibility, simplicity, and clarity, mine wins, only mine -- that is, the simplest possible theory of religion, gnosis, and mysticism, which is that the essence of religion is entheogenic determinism. The theory that religion is entheogenic determinism has one spectacularly strong point: it is extremely clear, extremely specific, entirely comprehensible.
Any theory which attempts to subsume this one immediately takes a huge hit in clarity, specificity, and comprehensibility. All contenders for a theory of religion fit in one of two slots: entheogen determinism, or something hazy and ill-defined, which is to say, essentially *undefined*. Either religion is entheogen determinism, or it is haze and clouds; either we accept a clear theory -- entheogen determinism -- or we accept a hazy non-theory, a hazy semi-conception.
The entheogen determinism theory of religion is by far the simplest and clearest theory of religion; it is the *only possible* simple and clear theory of religion. Any theory of religion besides entheogen determinism inherently cannot be simple and clear, but must be hazy and ill-defined.
Those who pay attention to the ideas I express, instead of copping out and just rising to the level of my feet, must be tired of seeing such needless repetition. So much of what I write, I have already posted to this discussion group multiple times, with somewhat diminishing returns. That is why my first priority must logically be to format and publish what I have already composed and posted previously.
It is time for me to stop posting, and republish and format my past postings.
People who ought to know better repeatedly ignore my points, as though they just can't help themselves. This raises the question of what it would be like to have two separate discussion groups: announce-only, and unmoderated, which I could remain aloof from, ignoring it: if people insist on foolish self-confusion, and absurd pretense of refuting ideas falsely attributed to me, and obsession on low-level superstitious irrelevancies about word-choice, then let them waste their own time.
We need to have a good set of webpages with my previous postings available, that I could then point to in further posts. It works well to assign named fallacies: I could right now list about 20 recurring fallacies I've somewhat wasted my time correcting, again and again; I could quickly respond by simply posting a URL.
I am impressed by visitors such as a recent visitor who took accurate stock, quickly in less than a week, of what I wrote in the past, and did not insult their own intelligence by stooping to the level of misinterpreting the theory in order to (falsely) criticize it, or rather criticize their misportrayal of it. Several people have seriously gotten up to speed with a sincere desire to accurately understand my theory. Many people in the discussion group don't try to frame my theory in the best light; they aim to misread it in order to criticize it.
I don't care whether you like or hate the egodeath theory I've formulated, but for God's sake, try sincerely to understand and portray accurately what it actually says. To hell with those who carelessly or deliberately misportray and misrepresent this theory! Nobody has any time to waste on such distortion and pointless nonsense.
I hate most of the postings I read, but responding to them is a necessary exercise in firming up and clarifying exactly what "the cybernetic self-control theory of ego death and rebirth" does and does not say.
One writer misportrayed the theory, in one of the haziest, vaguest posts I've seen, as a "mushroom theory". As always, I must evaluate the senses in which that is and is not an accurate characterization. Lazy people, too lazy to bother dealing with the actual theory, pretend that they can "refute" it or dismiss it by assigning some supposedly diminishing attribute to it, but of course such a move is just grotesque and embarrassing distortion on their part.
After initially focusing only on determinism around 1988, I recently decided that entheogens *do* deserve full floodlights, though not the central floodlight. I would pick "trans-determinism" as being the more essential characteristic of the theory than the mere, common focus on entheogens. I have lately characterized the theory, to best contrast it against all others, as the "entheogenic trans-determinism" theory of religion.
The other two main pillars or beams of the theory over the past year have been "no-Historical-Jesus" and "the rationality of mystic insight and transcendent knowledge". And a huge theme of mine lately has been "myth as essentially metaphorical description of entheogenic altered state events".
Do Critics Misrepresent My Position?
A Test Case from a Recent Academic Journal
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.
I'm always a little uncomfortable seeing scholars do a good job of detailing areas that are related to my theory of ego death, such as Barbour's book The End of Time. I'm jealous that they are publishing (in detail) what I concluded (in general) years earlier, around 1989, shortly after I first learned of the modern erroneous, absurd, and unjustified views such as Copenhagenism.
Still, those other books don't have the center of emphasis I do. My role in the world of theory and scholarship is not to go into full detail into each area that's relevant to an entheogen determinism theory of mystic enlightenment, but rather, to show the way to combine and integrate the detailed studies of other scholars and theorists.
My contribution may be detailed or general, but in any case, it defines a new center, a new framework. My theory is different than others, and is more specific than others; for example, much of Nasr's book about Tradition is profound and insightful, but Nasr is consistently vague where I provide specifics.
Nasr advocates Tradition as opposed to modern cluelessness, but never seems to define Tradition specifically; what exactly does "authentic initiation within a Tradition" amount to? Many discussion participants dislike my specific answer, but at least I provide a completely specific answer, unlike other scholars and theorists: authentic initiation within a Tradition amounts to the use of visionary plants such as psilocybin mushrooms to experience timeless determinism and in some sense transcend it.
As soon as other specific proposed theories are brought down from cloudy abstractions to concretely specific models, they have a hard time competing with the specific model I've defined. For example, when pressed hard for specifics, most theories of myth and enlightenment and spiritual regeneration finally are based on the altered state resulting from dreaming or meditation.
Their injunction is, "If you want enlightenment and mythic consciousness, dream and interpret the dreaming, or meditate." That is implicitly asserted as the most efficient, effective, relevant, and tradtional method. In contrast, my injunction is, "If you want enlightenment and mythic consciousness, use a series of visionary-plant sessions, such as psilocybin mushrooms, integrated with studying of perennial philosophy such as mysticism in world religions." I explicitly assert that as the most efficient, effective, relevant, and tradtional method.
The conventional thinking in modernity is that dreaming or meditating is the effective method; against that view, consistent entheogenists assert that visionary plants are the most effective method -- and I add that it's necessary to also integrate that method with serious, in-depth study of perennial philosophy.
So one distinctive atttribute of my theory and approach to theorizing is that I am specific and explicit where others are vague. This difference can be eliminated by extracting and deducing a specific and explicit formulation of the other scholarly theories about mystic-state methods: we can brush aside the thick tomes of verbiage from Ken Wilber and Nasr, and see that the concrete bottom line is that they advocate studies of symbolism integrated with meditation or dreaming or slight use of visionary plants.
My approach is different because I put more emphasis on the triggering method for the mystic state of consciousness, and am more explicit about the triggering method. In quantum mechanics, too, I choose different aspects as being most essential, and there, I am as specific and explicit as needed; I strive for greater *relevance* rather than for quantity of detail. I don't bother with equations, but do point out that the existing theories of hidden variables are compatible with the timeless version of determinism.
The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Physics
The Eye of Spirit
Knowledge and the Sacred
>>on the use of the word, "Entheogenist"
>>This would mean someone who uses entheogens ... "ist - The suffix -ist, which comes from the Greek suffix ...
>>"Enthegenicist"---a specialist in entheogens more academically oriented specialist--perhaps more a therorist or proponent of entheogens.
Word precision is overrated; the attempt to clarify meaning by technically correct word usage is often ineffective. Instead, explicitly define the meaning of whatever words are used, and focus on how meaning is established in word networks rather than by individual isolated words.
I use 'entheogenist' as a shorthand for "scholars and theorists of the historical usage of visionary plants", with no implication of whether or not these people personally use entheogens.