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Experiencing Determinism


Evidence of cosmic determinism.. 1

Mystic altered state converts one to determinism.. 3

God as Process that injects thoughts. 5

No-free-will theory distinct from max-entheogen theory. 5

Active hanging on vs. passive being lifted. 6

History of Determinism.. 6

Overview.. 6

Details. 6

Homeric epics  (the absent ego) 7

Greek Attic tragedy  (the pathetic legal democratic ego) 7

Prometheus and the Titans  (the wily, battling ego) 8

Mystery religions  (the preserved make-believe ego) 8

Rome-controlled Jerusalem Temple Judaism (the guilt-reified ego) 8

Stoic Determinism.. 8

Astrological determinism and transcendence via re-discovery of precession of the equinoxes. 9

2-level Gnostic Valentinian Christianity  (the affirmed-then-refuted ego) 9

Early Literalist Christianity  (the power-gaining ego) 10

Catholic Christianity  (the authorized ego) 10

Late Middle Ages mysticism  (the heretically penetrated ego) 10

Protestant Christianity  (the self-contradicting ego) 11

Psychedelic "Marsh Chapel" Christianity  (the thunderstruck ego) 12

Cybernetic 2-level Christianity  (the transcended ego) 12

Relation of determinism, myth, and mystic state. 13

How many have experienced no-free-will, how strongly?. 15

Apprehension of succeeding at revealing no-free-will etc. 16

Knowing determinism = being enlightened?. 17

Mind remains bounded and fragmented in time. 21

Does experiencing determinism prove it as fact?. 22

Improving the study of determinism.. 23

Book: Jesus: Pagan Christ or Jewish Messiah?. 25


Evidence of cosmic determinism

>>There is no evidence that the universe is "deterministic".

That is a myth spread by the uninitiates, who are like children who deny the reality of sexual climax.  For the mystic deep within the peak experience, free will becomes intensely problematic, and can never be taken for granted as the pre-initiated mind used to do.

>>The question is an ancient one tackled by religionists, philosophers, and physicists alike. Entire denominations are centered on the question

Proving just how central and important the issue is for religion and for the heart of religious experiencing, and how worth discussing.

>>For example, the Calvinistic determinism of the Presbyterians and Orthodox protestants vs. the Arminian "free will" emphasis of the Baptists, Methodists, and Pentecostals.

That level of comprehension is miles ahead of where modern armchair determinists are.  They are foolish enough to attempt to pit Determinism against Religion, as though Religion had never heard of Determinism.

>>The question is even addressed in philosophy by deterministic essentialists such as Holbach vs. the volition oriented existentialists such as Sartre.

Modern so-called "philosophers" are not actually philosophers, and are merely aged pre-philosophers, uninitiates, because they are personally ignorant of mystic experiencing.  Sartre is an embarrassment, as are almost all modern philosophers: they pronounce upon realms of experience which they are utterly ignorant of; of which they don't know the first thing about; they suffer from total category errors in talking about Plato and Socrates and Neoplatonism and what Philosophy was about. 

For the ancients, all fields of knowledge revolved around their parallels to the phenomena of the intense mystic state: sports, medicine, politics, magic, astrology -- every field.

>>The disagreement and the duality remain. Mystic schools even disagree on the concept.

The better and more experience-based mystic schools are all deeply concerned with determinism, even though they frame it differently; some say "the will doesn't participate in regeneration" and some say "the will is made to participate in regeneration", but the similarities overwhelm the minor and superficial differences. 

Mystics, who by definition to qualify as mystics must be grounded in repeated familiarity with the intense mystic altered state, are overwhelmingly deterministic in their worldmodel.

>>Also, since the word "universe" refers to "that which is",

Words refer to whatever people define them to refer.  Debate normally revolves around competitive covert definition games. 

In different mythic allegory systems, the word "universe" refers to somewhat different things.  In astrotheology, the word 'cosmos' usually means all that is contained within the sphere of the fixed stars, and the heavens are defined as that which has real existence and resides outside of the sphere of the deterministic fixed stars.

>>the word 'universe' would include this realm from which your benevolent Baywatch lifeguard springs to assist floundering mystics in their quests.

The universe is split into two main realms: the deterministic cosmos bounded by the mystic sphere of the fixed stars (they held this as merely a mystic-mythic allegorical construct; the ancients knew the earth moved around the sun) and the trans-deterministic heavens, populated by gods and the fates. 

There were two allegorical systematizations -- don't be literalist; rigidity about mythic stories is usually a sign of literalism -- one put determinism as ultimate, so that the Fates ruled over Zeus and Isis; the other allegorical systematization had Zeus or Isis rule over the Fates.

>>Upon completion of the rescue by the lifting of the victim/mystic to the safe shores of heaven, the rescued victim and the rescuer, being aware of each other as well as themselves,

That depends on which allegorical systematization you feel like employing.  They are all equivalent at heart, being grounded in the experiential phenomena of the intense mystic altered state.

>>would still be objectively separate entities, even if they sensed a subjective bond based in compassion and gratitude. They could then sit around and debate the fine points of philosophy and the conscious experience each was having of the other.

The best of them don't debate, so much as artistically form allegorizations, judging them on artistic poetic merit.  Literalists who miss the point can be characterized as "debating the fine points of philosophy" with a certain overserious rigidity about the descriptive tall tales.

http://www.reformnav.org -- rapid-navigation portal for drug policy reform sites

Mystic altered state converts one to determinism

Someone wrote:

>>>I was curious as to how others reached their belief in determinism?

Heinz wrote:

>There are, I believe, two ways of arriving at hard determinism. 

>1. One is by way of reason and logic.

>2. The other as a result of a peak experience, a cosmic consciousness experience, an `epiphany' or any other altered states of consciousness.

>The former is the philosophical, logical, scientific  PLS-type path the latter the altered state of consciousness, ASC-type path.

>It would be interesting to learn who among us arrived at hard determinism by way of  PLS and who by ASC.

>I came to hard determinism the ASC-way at age 16 and spent the rest of my life collecting scientific evidence in support of hard determinism.

Harirama wrote:

>>This is how I came to determinism: My epiphany occurred at the very end of my junior year of college.  The underlying causes were:  a course in behavioral psychology and one in psychology and, more importantly, a series of intense discussions with a fellow student who was trying to convince me of the truth of determinism.

>>I strongly resisted his arguments, having been raised by a rigid Catholic family.  On this particular night I was writing a term paper based on a social psychology book I was reading.  I read and wrote all night.  Towards morning I was suddenly struck by the overwhelming realization that I was not the author of any event in my life, past or present, that there was absolutely nothing for which I was responsible. 

>>I had been extricated from the notion of free will and, paradoxically, I felt completely and totally free:  free of any and all burdens.  It was the most profound and exhilarating experience of my life.  It did not come to me as a reasoned conclusion, but as a sudden, powerful insight, a transformation that changed my life forever. 

>>When I went outside for a walk at dawn, I felt as though I was gliding several inches above the pavement.  The euphoria last for a few hours, but the conviction that determinism was valid has lasted until now.

That sounds like Ramesh Balsekar's portrayal of enlightenment as conversion to determinism.

ASC experientially reveals block-universe determinism.  It does not reveal causal-chain determinism.  To sense and feel and experience determinism is to experience block-universe determinism, not causal-chain determinism.  The latter is an abstract speculative artificial construct. 

We can be confident of block-universe determinism through our mystic altered state experience of it.  Speculations beyond this include that a single future timelessly already exists, and that there is a causal chain over time -- I like the former speculation and dislike the latter speculation.

I don't think there are two paths to determinism, so much as two states of consciousness or two components: rational speculation about determinism, and mystic-state (loose cognition) experiencing of determinism.

Heinz wrote:

>In my case, mystic-state experience preceded rational explanation.  I don't know, and probably never shall know, as to whether rational speculation alone would have lead me to hard/NFW determinism.

>An altered state of consciousness (ASC) experientially reveals block-universe determinism. It does not reveal causal-chain determinism.

>Are both rational speculation _and_ mystic-state experience necessary to arrive at hard/no-free-will determinism, or is either one alone sufficient?

The most reasonable definition of "conversion to determinism" is that both experience and ratiocination are needed.  The term "theory" means both the mystic state of looking, and building a rational, systematic mental model.  To arrive at no-free-will determinism most fully and classically, requires a series of mystic-state experiences in conjunction with study of the perennial philosophy.  This course of development is allegorized in religion and high philosophy as:

o  Purification

o  Purgatory

o  Burning off the mortal body

o  Attaining imperishability and incorruptibility

o  Alchemical purification through repeatedly dissolving and coagulating one's mental model

o  Ascending through the faster and then slower planetary spheres to and then past the sphere of the fixed stars (the zodiac symbolizes this mystic experience of block-universe determinism and the experience of in some sense "transcending" determinism)

o  A series of reincarnations/lifetimes leading to the cessation of rebirth (a series of mystic-state experiences leading to the cessation of taking for granted the flow of time and one's across-time causal agency)

It may be possible to map the Hellenistic and early Christian "body/soul/spirit" hierarchy to freewill thinking, the experience of timeless block-universe determinism, followed by in some sense "transcending" determinism.  During the mystic state, one experiences block-universe determinism (with vertical causality) instead of the familiar ordinary-state experience of casual-chain determinism, which is also the ordinary-state experience of freewill (horizontal causality).

Body -- freewill thinking and the innocent ordinary-state experience of causal-chain determinism (naive temporal thinking)

Soul -- the mystic-state experience of block-universe determinism; experiential revelation of timelessness

Spirit -- the recovery of the ordinary state of experiencing, but now qualified and corrected by the memory of timeless block-universe determinism. 

After full conversion to determinism as block-universe determinism (based on mystic experiencing and developed rational model-building), one has discovered block-universe determinism as a divine/transcendent revelation of the hidden, and one is in some sense now "outside of the block universe" -- which is not a denial of determinism, but a reflection of the combination of the familiar sense of freedom and experience of freedom together with the fully multi-state experienced knowledge of metaphysical unfreedom.

Freewill thinking is just like the conventional modern view of determinism, which is in-time causal-chain determinism: both of these supposed "opposites" and supposed "alternatives" are based on the experience of flowing time in the ordinary state of consciousness (the state of tight cognitive-association binding), uninformed by the experience of static, frozen, tenseless time in the mystic state of consciousness (the state of loose cognitive-association binding).

>>Causal-chain determinism is demonstrated by simple observation; by the senses.

Neoplatonism would say that you need to observe motion in both states of consciousness, to understand it and see the aspect in which change is illusory and self-motion is illusory.

There are two states in which to collect data from the senses: the ordinary state of cognition, and the mystic state of cognition (loose cognitive association).  If one has only collected data from the senses in the ordinary state of cognition, one has only collected half of the data that the senses provide.  One should trust the full use of one's senses, which provide two different perspectives. 

The ancients, such as ancient Greeks, routinely looked through the mystic or loose cognition state of perception, in addition to looking through the default, ordinary state of consciousness.  Only then can one talk fully about what the senses indicate.

>>My way of observing can be demonstrated.

The "Greek" way of observing is the universal esoteric mode of observing, which can be demonstrated, as argued in detail in Ken Wilber's book Eye to Eye, in the first chapters, about directly apprehended experience.  This mode of observing is found in all the currents and schools of Western esotericism and world mysticism, from the ancient through the Hellenistic, Medieval, and Modern periods.

There are thus two distinct modes of demonstrating determinism.  The ordinary, default state of cognition demonstrates the causal-chain aspect of determinism, while the ecstatic altered state of cognition (loose cognitive association binding) demonstrates the timeless frozen block-universe aspect of determinism.  Determinists, insofar as they are rational and value observation and collection of observational and experiential data, must be aware of both aspects of determinism.

God as Process that injects thoughts

We know that the world exists.  The world, or Ground of Being, includes all one's thoughts.

We know that ego doesn't exist.  The person exists, and the idea of the egoic inner controller-self (the homunculus idea) exists, and the whole way of thinking that takes for granted the homulus, exists.  But now the cybercontrol homunculus or ego is a crude, childish hypothesis or hyper-reified symbol that is no longer needed except as a practical convention.  The ego illusion remains, as part of the mundanely practical egoic mental model, but is now understood to be an illusion.

A personal compassionate God controlling that world may or may not exist.  There may be occasion to pray that he exists and is compassionate, if the world that timelessly controls and creates you feels untrustworthy.  If I perceive that I am a total puppet of some hidden and alien Process, a looming and terrifying question is, will this Process inject harmful or chaotic thoughts into my mind in the very near future? 

How can we trust the infathomable Process that timelessly controls and creates our every thought?  Prayer is an attitude of trusting the Creator Process that pulls our strings and gives us our thoughts and movements of will.  Given that God is in total control of your thoughts, and your thoughts are chaotically unconstrained or wildly free (in a certain sense) and unpredictable and unstable in some sense, do you fear that God the Alien Helmsman is a crazy and perverse wildman? 

That is fear of God and what it means to be a God-fearer.  Only when egoic thinking becomes more or less unstable can thinking realign and restabilize, during the homeostatic state shift, into the new, transcendent way of thinking.

A choice may appear: you will either choose insanity, or the saving idea of no-free-will and pushing down the egoic thinking while pointing up to attribute control to God or Ground, looking up the acknowledged puppet strings.  You tug your newly recognized puppet strings and in response the other end is tugged but that is the only thing you know about the Process from which you dangle.

You look at the fountain of thoughts, including movements of will, that forcefully arises before your stationary, powerless pure awareness.  Ego delusion gone, you as pure awareness have no control over thoughts or will or body.  Who is left to operate and create your thoughts, will, and body?  The thoughts and mental control system down there take care of themselves, manually operating themselves automatically.

Questions such as "Is God separate from the Ground", "Is God personal", "Is God compassionate", and "Does God have free will" are speculative and mostly irrelevant; those kind of questions can be bracketed off and placed outside the domain of Transcendent Knowledge.

No-free-will theory distinct from max-entheogen theory

I have had spotty success among popular audiences in attempting to marry the philosophy of timeless determinism (no-free-will), no-Historical-Jesus studies, and entheogen scholarship, together with a rational, explicit model of mystic insight. 

My special interest within this general research paradigm is timeless determinism and no-free-will: how closely is entheogen world mysticism centered specifically around timeless determinism and no-free-will, similar to how it is now universally accepted that mysticism centers around no-separate-self? 

My treating this concern as a special interest within a research paradigm solves a popularity-related problem; I need to enable researchers to accept the maximal entheogen theory of myth-religion and perennial philosophy regardless of whether they have any interest in the question of timeless determinism and no-free-will.  In such a way, I can integrate and yet differentiate research and promotion of the entheogen theory and the philosophy of no-free-will. 

It's not immediately clear how to measure the extent to which a particular initiation system is concerned with no-free-will, any more than assessing the concern with no-separate-self.  Certainly modern Christianity is relatively more oriented around no-free-will while modern Buddhism is relatively more oriented around no-separate-self.

Active hanging on vs. passive being lifted

>We're like baby monkeys, not kittens, following our vision and holding on for dear life, not looking for a savior to come and take us out of danger.

Primary religious experience typically includes the sense of dread danger and being rescued by divine intervention.  It includes both hanging onto self-control for dear life like a baby monkey on its mother, and being lifted by the neck like a kitten by its mother.

History of Determinism

Here are the historical phases through which to trace the mind's freewillist-to-determinist moral-agent transformation:


Homeric epics  (the absent ego)

Greek Attic tragedy  (the pathetic legal democratic ego)

Prometheus and the Titans  (the wily, battling ego)

Mystery religions  (the preserved make-believe ego)

Jerusalem Temple Judaism (the guilt-reified ego)

Stoic determinism

Astrological determinism and transcendence via re-discovery of precession of the equinoxes

Simon Magus (the magician/illusionist ego)

2-level Gnostic Valentinian Christianity  (the affirmed-then-refuted ego)

Early Literalist Christianity  (the power-gaining ego)

Catholic Christianity  (the authorized ego)

Late Middle Ages mysticism  (the heretically penetrated ego)

Protestant Christianity  (the self-contradicting ego)

Psychedelic "Marsh Chapel" Christianity  (the thunderstruck ego)

Cybernetic 2-level Christianity  (the transcended ego)


First I define "original 2-level Christianity" per Elaine Pagels' book _The Gnostic Paul_, discussed in Freke and Gandy's book _The Jesus Mysteries_.

Original Christianity is Gnostic Christianity is a two-layer system the Gnostics designed after the fall of the Jerusalem temple in 70 CE.  Christianity began in multiplicity and was gradually pulled together into more like a single thing, first as Valentinian Gnosticism and later as Literalist Christianity, designed at Constantine's command by the hired religion-designer Eusebius around 325. [check dates]  When I say "original Christianity" I do not mean something some Jesus man actually founded, nor early Pauline Christianity, nor the early Gospels. 

For simplicity, I am here defining "original Christianity" as a combined Pauline/Gospel 2-level system as Pagels describes the Valentinians teaching.  It's essential to make certain distinctions and gloss over others.  The key thing for this discussion is that there was, early on, a 2-level Christianity, regardless of whether it was taught by a supposedly historical Paul, or Simon Magus, or a supposedly historical Jesus.  I want to focus on the logic of a 2-level Christianity and just assert that it deserves the title of "the original Christianity", regardless of the details of its origin.

Through each era, I trace the two levels of worldmodel: the lower, prior, animal/childish freewill moral agency worldmodel (the egoic worldmodel) and the higher, later, mature, completed/perfected, adult determinist frozen-destiny worldmodel (the transcendent worldmodel).  There may be a sense in which the mind ultimately can step outside or virtually transcend determinism; for this discussion I ususally include that ultimate transcendence within the determinst category I have always called the "transcendent" worldmodel.  That is, a sophisticated system can have these three hierarchical layers, with the later two grouped together:

2b. Mature adult: Trans-rational, trans-mental, justified virtual transcendence to a hypothetical level above the deterministic frozen-destiny cosmos

2a. New adult: Revelation of deterministic entrapment; future thoughts are unchangeably destined and are actually authored by the fates/gods.

1.  Animal/child: Freewill moral agency, conceived as a simply true agent culpable for praise and blame.

Also before I begin the historical survey, I need to, as always, repeat that what I mean by "determinism" is actually ancient fatalism *correctly conceived*.  My determinism always actually means that the future is so fixed and the destiny of one's stream or worldline of thoughts is so unchangeable, that it really in some sense exists already.  We don't author the future so much as arrive at the future that has already been authored for us.  This is fixed-future, frozen-future, unchangeable-destiny, preexisting-future determinism.

Just as there are two possible lords/governors/controllers -- ego or Jesus/Dionysus, so are there two systems of moral cleansing: that which reifies the freewill responsible moral agent, and that which refutes it altogether as a precious illusion.

Jonathan Klawans, whose Seder dating article I mentioned in the "Amanita table" posting, wrote the book _Impurity and Sin in Ancient Judaism_. 2000.

Temple sacrifice Judaism was based on clearing increments of sin.  You bring money, the moneychangers at the temple sell you a sacrificial animal, then the high priest sacrifices it for you to cleanse a bit of your sins.  This system reifies the sinner while claiming to cleanse his sins -- all for a lucrative financial profit.  To prop up this system, the entheogenic revelation of determinism must be withheld from people.  The priests don't step through the door into determinism by eating the psychoactive manna, and neither do they let their customers step through the door: the psychoactive manna is effectively held captive, banished in the forever-sealed inner sanctum.  The essence of this system is identical to the Catholic system in which you earn, often through a financial purchase, increments of salvation or moral purification, which reifies the illusion of egoic freewill moral agency while claiming to cure and purify the person.  It reifies ego through declaring that egoic guilt is real enough to be tracked in a spiritual bank account.  And it became a hugely profitable financial business. 


History of determinism, or of the freewill-to-determinism transition the initiate experiences.

Homeric epics  (the absent ego)

In the Homeric age, there was no ego; people were puppets of the gods.  All praise and blame went to the gods.  Perhaps young children believed in a metaphysically free will and individual moral agency, but the deterministic view was all-dominant within the adult world.

Greek Attic tragedy  (the pathetic legal democratic ego)

Everyone knows the gods control our destiny.  We watch as the individual tries in vain to escape fate.  Word meanings flip between two specific meanings; the protagonist utters words intending the meaning assumed by individualist agency, but they are ominously readable from the doomed, god-controlled point of view.  (_Myth and Tragedy in Ancient Greece_).  Ego is invented as a legal fiction in the democratic city, but everyone just laughs at what a pathetic, make-believe, flimsy construction it is.

Jean-Pierre Vernant, Pierre Vidal-Naquet

Myth and Tragedy in Ancient Greece



Prometheus and the Titans  (the wily, battling ego)

The egoic mind, as a titan, seriously tries to go up against the gods, tries to trick and steal from the gods.  He ends up chained to the spacetime block, his organ of will eaten *but regrown* each day by the eagle sent down from Zeus -- he is unrepentent and determined to continue battling up against the gods, invading their realm, even as Zeus strikes him down.

Mystery religions  (the preserved make-believe ego)

The ego delusion of the uninitiated is preserved, honored, mourned for, and protected by law; the transition to enlightened Necessity-aware adulthood is cordoned off to the side in the temples and the normal discovery of ego impotence is kept secret, not utterable in public on pain of death penalty.

The following shows that the common theme of mystery religions was the transcendence of cosmic determinism (transcendence of the predetermined cosmos). 

Luther H. Martin.

Hellenistic Religions: An Introduction, 1987.


Rome-controlled Jerusalem Temple Judaism (the guilt-reified ego)

The High Priest, installed by Roman government, wants you to bring money to the moneychangers, buy animals to sacrifice, and have a bit of your moral impurity cleansed by the priest's sacrifice of the animal.  By cleansing guilt/sin/impurity, this system actually hypnotizes you into ego-reification.  That's in essence the same as Roman Catholic system, unlike the "system of Jesus" which undercuts the perpetual priests' market by providing the manna/god-flesh that reveals determinism and permanently cancels the very root of the concept of moral-agency sin.


Below, I continue explaining the history of determinism and the historical phases of the mind's transformation from egoic freewillist worldmodel to transcendent determinist worldmodel.  In each historical phase, the mind transforms from an egoic freewill worldmodel to a transcendent determinist/Fatedness worldmodel, but sometimes the accent is placed on the former, sometimes the latter.

Stoic Determinism

Around 150 BCE-250CE [check dates] -- contemporaneous with the mystery-religions -- the hot topic in philosophy is cosmic determinism.  The early stoics express a relatively pure determinism (Fatedness as I have previously defined it) and the later stoics adopt a more compromised determinism.  They may never be consistent determinists, but the important point is that the issue loomed over the other philosophical issues (Bobzien 1999). 

They may also have been legally prohibited from discussing determinist revelations from the mystery rites.  As a whole, the Hellenistic culture took cosmic determinism for granted, and still did not have a term equivalent to our "free will".  Cosmic determinism was good and bad: it relieved people of responsibility (Doob 1988), but it deprived them of metaphysical freedom and psychological freedom.

Suzanne Bobzien.  Determinism and Freedom in Stoic Philosophy.  1999.  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0199247676

Albrecht Dihle.  The Theory of Will in Classical Antiquity.  1982. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0520040597

Leonard W. Doob.  Inevitability: Determinism, Fatalism, and Destiny.  1988.  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0313263981

Astrological determinism and transcendence via re-discovery of precession of the equinoxes

The regularity of the stars represented cosmic determinism and lawful order.  But as much as they valued such order, people wanted ego, wanted freedom, wanted salvation out from the frozen-future block universe.  The re-discovery of the precession of the equinoxes suggested that there is a power higher than the stars; this knowledge was granted as a secret power to the men of the Roman army, in Mithraism. 

The Mithraic psychoactive eucharist enabled the initiates to encounter determinism experientially and their rebirth was interpreted as a conquering of the bull of cosmic determinism.  Cosmic determinism died so that they could be born out from the cell or cave of the frozen, fixed-future universe.

David Ulansey.  The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World.  1991.  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0195067886

Simon Magus (the magician/illusionist ego), Apollonius of Tyanna, Iasios the temple-undercutter.

I'm looking for general stories that were in the air about trickster magicians seeking to undercut moral-agency-cleansing religions such as the Jerusalem Temple animal sacrifices which would cleanse an increment of the ego's moral guilt or impurity.

Acharya S' _Christ Conspiracy_ page 174 discusses the theory that the Paul figure is the renamed Apollonius figure, who went to India, travelled as an apostle, and fits the Paul story.  Paul also fits the Orpheus character.  I may look into the details more, but this is the general idea.

There was some Iasius or Iasion who, like Jesus, undercut some profit-driven morality-cleansing temple by offering complete sin-cancellation for free, maybe with some drug-man connection.  It makes complete sense that this would be a generally known story, because that's how the guilt-cancellation effect of entheogens works. 

In many cultures there might be an established system of ritual purity-sacrifices, a temple with priests who have a thriving business set up, but the entheogen renders that entire system superfluous and show it up as futile, by revealing determinism which in principle cancells the very root of guilt-culpability. 

2-level Gnostic Valentinian Christianity  (the affirmed-then-refuted ego)

This is the most interesting system, which I am rediscovering in the Cybernetic Revelation of Christianity.  The Christian Gnostics skillfully and deliberately designed Christianity to be a two-level system comparable to the switch from the uninitiated to the initiated in the mystery religions (Pagels 1992) and comparable to the bi-fold overloading of the network of word-meanings in Attic Tragedy (Vernant 1990). 

The beginner Christians are taught the moral guilt system of Christianity as it is known by Evangelical Protestants today.  The person really is guilty, but by putting faith in Jesus through one's own act of will, Jesus takes one's sins upon himself and one is admitted into heaven after bodily death and saved from punishment in hell after bodily death. 

After learning this system, initiates are then given the sacrament of Apolytrosis, which is Amanita or is another entheogen represented by it, and the higher level of meanings is explained and revealed.  One was never really a guilt-agent, never really a metaphysically free sovereign in the first place, and thus one's guilt is revealed to be that of God. 

God is so guilty, how can justice be achieved for his immorality?  Moral guilt must be punished, but God is hidden.  To reveal the justice of God, to reveal God's punishment of himself for the guilty actions he committed through us his puppet-slaves, we need a mythic representative of God, who is Jesus.

This bi-fold system of Valentinian Christianity was weighted unusually heavily toward the lower half; in some sense it expanded the stories for the uninitiated to make that level as fully developed as the higher-level meaning.  To feel a tremendous flip or transformation of meaning, you have to fully develop the first meaning, so that people are hypnotized fully into it, and then administer the cognitive loosening agent and reveal the higher network of meaning, to give a fully intense feeling of revelation of mystery. 

That is the mystery of Jesus: first establishing a firm network of lower meaning -- enforcing our egoic guilt-agency and implying but not asserting that the will is metaphysically free -- and then use loose cognition and explanation to dramatically shift all the meaning across the board to a new network of connections: the higher meaning, which is determinist and experientially refutes our previous assumption of metaphysically free moral agency.

The soul is ego as moral agent.  The spirit is the pure, actual mind, and actual self including consciousness.  Soul is lower, spirit is higher.  The soul is the one who is punished or rewarded for moral actions that are thought to belong to the person as a freewill moral agent.

Elaine Pagels.  The Gnostic Paul, 1992.  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1563380390

Early Literalist Christianity  (the power-gaining ego)

Between the Valentinian Gnostics and the actual illegalization of the higher level of Christianity was the period of early Literalist Christianity.  People wanted egoic freedom and moral agency; one exists as a person, a self-moving individual.  But the ego, taken seriously and remaining dominant into adulthood, was still a new invention, a new legal fiction.  The lower-level network of Christian meaning was popular because people wanted to be freewillist individual agents, moral-agent sovereigns.

Catholic Christianity  (the authorized ego)

The two-level Valentinian Christian system was taken by hired universal religion designer Eusebius, and all religious systems were incorporated into it.  Then the entheogenic sacrament of apolytrosis and the higher level it revealed was made illegal.  All religions were wrapped up into one, which was then beheaded.  The higher level was not necessarily forgotten by everyone, but it was made illegal. 

One was no longer allowed to do the normal mental development out of the egoic worldmodel and into the transcendent worldmodel.  That mental development was made illegal.  The lower form of moral cleansing was futile and thus financially profitable, and kept the populace in an infantile state, dependent upon the priests, who practiced psychological extortion and deception.  This system of priestly sacrifice, as conducted to this day in the Catholic church, is the religion of deception.  In contrast, the Protestant church is the religion of confusion.

Transcendence was made illegal.  Determinism was the main, root heresy.  This was the Age of Ego, or ego only; one was not permitted to move past egoic freewill to transcendent determinism.  This was the age of the devil.  The devil is freewill, is freewillist agency.  I don't fully understand why the devil became so reified during the era of freewill moral agency, but Jeffrey Burton Russell's books about the history of the figure of the devil probably have the clues to explain why this is, in cybernetic terms. 

The devil is the king/controller/governor/master of the demons, and freewill moral agency is the demon, or demonic soul, in the mind.  In that cybernetic system, the soul is considered to be a genuine moral agent that is yet somehow controlled by the devil.

Late Middle Ages mysticism  (the heretically penetrated ego)

Entheogens and the penetration of the egoic moral agency illusion did not simply disappear just because they were made illegal.  The mind is designed to normally transform from the animal/childish freewill moral agency worldmodel to the determinist fixed-future transcendent worldmodel, and this normal development was bound to happen one way or another. 

The Catholic church included mystics and couldn't control them: unfortunately for the church, mytics are bound to discover mystic knowledge, and mystic knowledge disproves the financially profitable futile system of incremental moral cleansing of the egoic freewill moral agent.  The church tried to dictate was mysticism was permitted, which mystic writings were permitted. 

The permitted knowledge was, of course, the empty and impotent forms of mystic expression and insight; crippled and degraded and ineffective mysticism.  Genuine mystic knowledge of determinism was suppressed as heresy.  Effective techniques of meditation were made illegal; ineffective techniques were made the only officially permitted techniques. 

The mystics were ordered to actively (hyperactively) meditate ritualistically with much noise and smoke, but contemplative meditation with its true fire of revelation of determinism was forbidden.  Naturally, entheogens were deeply suppressed.  However, Eastern Orthodox Christianity always allowed a little bit of true mystic revelation and use of Amanita. 

During the Crusades, knowledge of the original entheogenic, determinism-revealing form of Christianity was continually re-introduced into the Western system of Catholic Christianity.  The church, that is the Western church, had to keep suppressing this key heresy, the heresy of entheogenic determinism.  The problem for the church was not entheogens, but the moral-sin cancellation that is inherent in the determinism that entheogens revealed.  Such cancellation undercut the financially profitable system of priestly sacrificial moral cleansing.

People who pay for masses to be done -- "performed" -- for them individually.  Each mass would buy you, say, a week less of purgatory.  Salvation was through moral purification, which was accomplished by "works", which especially included payments of money to the church through various channels. 

Jesus had repurchased our salvation but this was just a bank fund and you still had to buy the salvation which he had made available as a commodity.  Salvation (guilt clearance) was run as a profit-driven corporation, including competitive markets.  Entheogens and free, permanent salvation spelled death to this market, so were illegal.  The church declared that it had a monopoly on this fund of salvation that Jesus and the saints had earned. 

Rich men would purchase the office of priest in order to sell increments of guilt-clearance at a lucrative profit, driven by maximizing their financial return-on-investment.  These rich men were relatively educated and kept down the masses, and didn't much believe in the Christianity they foisted upon those whom they kept ignorant, or upon those aristocrats they sought to keep under control. 

One seller of salvation inadvertantly brought the whole monopoly crashing down, however, by underbidding the other sellers: the priest that prompted Luther and others to begin the Protestant revolution.  That priest was selling *permanent* salvation for a quite reasonable amount, on a sliding scale according to what you could afford.  It was an offer people couldn't refuse: purchase a ticket excusing you from purgatory forever, for only, say, $200. 

And then you could sin all you wanted, and wouldn't even need any more masses.  The market logic was carried out to its conclusion; *permanent* excusing from purgatory was a novel feature that was allowed because the Catholic church had deliberately been hazy on how, precisely, salvation worked.  Reference: books about Luther, Reformed thought, and Reformation thought.

Protestant Christianity  (the self-contradicting ego)

Relatively determinist, and the will is metaphysically unfree.  Yet they want it both ways.  If the will is helpless and incapable of putting faith in Jesus, then the meaning of "sin" and "salvation" and "guilt" must also be empty.  If the freedom of the will is an illusion, then guilt and sin must be an illusion.  Yet Protestant thought ignored the early mystic libertine proto-Protestants on this point, and continued to declare the reality of our moral guilt even while denying the metaphysical freedom of the will.  This does not make any sense at all.  Either we are morally guilty and metaphysically free, or we are morally innocent and metaphysically unfree, but the popular Lutheran Protestant thought that won out insisted that we are morally guilty even though we are metaphysically unfree.  Such cognitive dissonance may have produced the highly reified figure of the devil during this period.  Protestant thought hung onto the egoic delusion of moral agency that was created by the Catholic church, but got rid of the system of monetary purchase of guilt-clearance and got rid of the assertion of metaphysical freedom.

Catholic (self-consistent):

o  Metaphysical freedom

o  Egoic moral agency

o  Money payments to cleanse guilt.  Purgatory.

Protestant (self-inconsistent):

o  Metaphysical unfreedom

o  Egoic moral agency

o  No money payments to cleanse guilt.  No purgatory.

Psychedelic "Marsh Chapel" Christianity  (the thunderstruck ego)

The Marsh Chapel man ascending the stairs with a synthetic mushroom religious revelation about the meaning of Christianity...

This man in the Miracle of Marsh Chapel had a revelation to deliver, climbing up the stairs to talk to the minister.  Unfortunately, he was stopped by force.  I propose he had a message that determinism cleanses sin and God is guilty for all our actions and only God can be justly punished for what previously appeared to be our own moral guilt. 

All is determined, nothing is my fault, I'm a slave-puppet of God, I cannot be justly punished as moral agent, it's all God's fault, God is the complete and absolute almighty controller, all punishment must be of God himself, and is revealed as being finished in the figure of Jesus on the cross. 

This is how the meaning of the crucifixion cannot be limited to the resurrection and ascension which Jesus underwent and which we hope to undergo.  This is why the image of the suffering man on the cross contains perhaps more ultimate meaning and purpose than the empty cross.

Cybernetic 2-level Christianity  (the transcended ego)

A wide range of potent and dosage-measured entheogens becomes available.  A thriving "aboveground underground" erupts.  Prohibition spurs it on.  Entheogenic determinism is expressed in classic rock music, which is acid rock.  Books become available about cybernetics, religion, mysticism from all areas, all eras.  The Internet makes all information available, with Amazon, Google, email, and Web pages. 

Discoveries are made about the entheogenic origin of religions.  Rational engineering students grapple with self-control research using entheogens while reading Wilber's integral theory of psychospiritual development, and Watts' evocative portrays of Zen short-path satori and the parallels of Hindu and Christian symbology.  Linguistics, semantics, and text theory thrive. 

Ancient scriptures are uncovered and reveal a 2-level meaning-flipping Valentinian system.  Jesus is discovered to be mythic rather than historical.  Progress is made in the determinism debate and the differences are revealed to be metaphilosophical: the moralists don't care about metaphysical truth, but justifying moral agency at whatever cost.  The philosophy-as-scientific-discovery thinkers adhere to determinism as the only system that is clear and specific, metaphysically free moral agency be damned. 

Proof is discovered of entheogen use as the Christian eucharist and Jewish manna.  New Testament scripture is mastered and a 2-level system of word-network meanings is definitely identified.  A list of around ten revelations becomes available as a proposal for the missing pages of the Gospel of Mary Magdalene.  "John" is revealed as a code-word for Mary Magdalene.  Copenhagenist interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is assailed through numerous books that show how the Einstein/Bohm/Shroedinger clear and sensible hidden-variables solution was suppressed by cultural force.  A simple and clear theory of entheogenic deterministic ego-death and rebirth is published on the Web.

The ego is retained as a justified conventional cognitive structure and worldmodel, while the transcendent worldmodel is discovered and learned.  The two systems remain, in a "sacred marriage" that produces a mind which includes and transcends them both.  The ego is, in Ken Wilber's sense, transcended."


Relation of determinism, myth, and mystic state

Steve wrote:

>Regarding the term/phrase "intense mystic altered state":  What are the criteria for acknowledging and labeling the manifestations of "intense mystic altered state"?  What is the necessity of acknowledging and labeling the manifestations of "intense mystic altered state"? 

>Consider someone who hasn't experienced the intense mystic altered state, but who comprehends that metaphysically free will is an illusion.  This person's mind and body aren't pumped full of endorphins every time they focus on the truth of causality in the universe.  Why is vivid mystic experiencing fundamentally relevant and important, or even essential, for the knowledge domain of tenseless-time block universe determinism and no-free-will? 

>The intense mystic altered state isn't necessary to intellectually understand that metaphysically free will is an illusion.  In the intense mystic altered state, there is probably a statistical spread of feelings and apparent insights ranging from naive delusions of metaphysical freedom to true insights about block-universe determinism.  Therefore mystic experiencing is an unreliable foundation for the philosophy of block-universe determinism. 

>If we make mystic experiencing rather than reason the foundation for the philosophy of block-universe determinism, this is an ineffective strategy, because people might subjectively experience a feeling of (logically impossible) metaphysical freedom while in the mystic state, and be thereby hindered from comprehending the unique philosophical soundness of no-free-will.

No-free-will is proven, or demonstrated to be the most coherent and plausible view, by two independent methods: conceptual development, and mystic experiencing.  These methods are distinct and independent, but they work together to reinforce each other. 

The mystic state provides the experience of no-free-will and block-universe determinism, together with the insight and feeling of no-separate-self, and loosens the mind to quickly grasp the concepts of no-free-will and construct a mental worldmodel based on no-free-will and block-universe determinism.  The philosophical study of no-free-will also provides ideas that provoke related experiences during a mystic-state session, such as control-seizure. 

The philosophical conception of no-free-will increases and enables the mystic-state experience of no-free-will, and the mystic-state experience of no-free-will increases and enables the philosophical conception of no-free-will.

Michael wrote:

>> Anyone who says "I experience the sense of freedom" is uninformed by the intense mystic altered state.  A myth in the proper sense is a metaphorical description of insights and experiences encountered in the intense mystic altered state.  The definition of 'myth' as 'falsity' is inferior and degraded, because it originates from a failure to comprehend the meaning of mythological description of the mystic state.  The point and message of mythology is that there isn't free will.

Steve wrote:

>That assertion is confusing, because it mixes myth with the mystic altered state, which is a rare equation, and makes a rare assertion, that the main function of myth is to allegorize the mystic-state expeirence of no-free-will and the resulting and concomitant insight about no-free-will.  Are there scholarly works that support this equation of myth, mysticism, and no-free-will?  Scholars currently maintain that myths have many points and messages, not just one point and message (no-free-will).

In what ways can we and can we not simply equate myth, religion, determinism, and mysticism?  The best aspect of these domains is that aspect that joins them.  The best aspect of religion is myth; the best aspect of religion is mysticism; the best aspect of myth is mysticism; the best aspect of myth is determinism; the best aspect of mysticism is determinism; the best aspect of religion is determinism.

My job as theorist is to spell out clearly a coherent set of opinions, assements, and interpretations.  This set is a network.  The point and strategy is not to prove any one connection, but rather to present an entire coherent system.  It's relatively unimportant to prove in isolation that in its best aspect, myth is about no-free-will.  It is highly important for me to demonstrate the elegance of an interpretation of religion, myth, mysticism, and no-free-will as mainly identical concerns.

Illumination, revelation, satori, mystic experiencing, mystic insight, psyche regeneration and transformation, and transcendent knowledge are mainly and first of all about no-free-will, even more than they are about the overpublicized realization of no-separate-self.  What is the peak climax of the mystic state?  The conceptual grasp of no-free-will. 

Once this framework is defined and proposed, it is a lesser type of labor to lay out the evidence for any combination such as "myth's primary function is to express mystic experiencing" or "entheogens are the main method, meditation/contemplation the lesser and derivative method".  Delineating this framework is real work, hard work.  Laying out the evidence for the assertion "myth's primary function is to express mystic experiencing" is mere scholarly drudgery.

Paradigm definition is infinitely more important and difficult and inspired than such scholarly labor.  Case in point: the world's lamest book, "Evidence that demands a verdict", is a thick book full of evidence and argumentation for literalist, supernaturalist Christianity.

The book contributes only one thing of worth to world knowledge: it's the world's best demonstration of the "reality tunnel" effect, in which any paradigm or framework of interpretation supports itself with appropriate matching ideas about what consitutes sound evidence and good reasoning.

I want so much to emphasize that point, that I may omit here evidence to support my assertion that the typical myth scholars are out to lunch and the real nature of myth is to express the insights and experiences of the intense mystic altered state, particularly about the realization of no-free-will.  I also hesitate to go into those details here because I have written so much already on this overlap.

But a theory requires idea development, and idea development requires repeated re-summarizing of various angles and aspects of related topics, repeatedly probing a relationship from various perspectives and angles. 

If I could only draw one connection to provide an example of myth = mystic experiencing = no-free-will, consider the Cross, which is an arrested would-be king fastened to the cross, leading to death and resurrection.  The Cross is a myth that allegorically and metaphorically describes a mystic-state insight and experience of no-free-will. 

The Cross portrays an arrested rebel would-be sovereign fastened to a physical object, and asserts that the rebel was charged as guilty, died, and was rescued from death or near-death and returned to life again -- life in a transformed mode.  A main characteristic of the man on the cross is his saying "thy will not mine be done".  Immediately prior to the arrest and including the initiation of the arrest is the sacred meal with the inner circle of the followers of the arrested would-be sovereign.

The sacred meal includes eating the visionary plants that the sovereign is and gives, in Dionysian fashion.  The Cross represents, first of all, no-free-will.  The greatest incomprehension a determinist could possibly have is to fail to recognize the Cross as a symbol of no-free-will.

The main function of myth is to allegorically describe entheogenic plants and the insights and experiences they produce.  The most awesome and amazing insight and experience produced by the entheogenic mystic state is that of no-free-will.  I find theorizing about world mythology easy, but it is easiest when describing a single tradition at a time, first mapping the core theory to one tradition, then to another -- rather than at the same time explaining how the core theory is expressed in multiple traditions. 

Although shamanism is close to the visionary plants, and Western Buddhism is close to the meditative state as a mystic technique, in Western scholarship today Christianity provides the most stable and definite mythology framework to work with and explain, cracking it like a riddle.

It is easiest to explain Christianity as a myth expressing no-free-will, then branch out to the Hellenistic religion including the Jewish religion of the Hellenistic era, and then extend the explanation to Buddhist themes -- particularly Buddhist mythology -- and shamanistic mythemes.  It's very easy to show that Hellenistic myth is about entheogens, their insights, their experiences, and particularly no-free-will (encountering and somehow transcending cosmic determinism).

It's harder to show that world mythology shares the same ultimate direction, referent, or vector.  Current theory of myth is so weak as to barely exist.  It includes some attention to mystic experiencing, but not nearly enough.  Its main mistake is to assume that myth describe life events that occur in the default state of consciousness, which uses tight binding of mental construct associations.

Any mythology that doesn't serve to represent visionary plants and the conceptual insights and experiences they produce is merely derivative, just as later, ordinary, uninspired Greek drama was a lower, derivative version of high Attic tragedy, which was centrally concerned with no-free-will.  The kings in Jewish scriptures, in the Jesus figure, and in Greek myth and tragedy are first of all, symbols of freewill egoic agency. 

King Ego dies after drinking mixed wine at a banquet or symposium (psychoactive visionary drinking party).  When reading ancient novels or philosophy or religion or myth, always read 'death' as 'ego death' and always read 'king' as 'initiate', and always read 'wine' as 'visionary mixed beverage'.  "The king drank wine and died" means "the initiate drank the visionary mixed beverage and experienced ego death".

Laying out these grand patterns is a higher priority for me than laying out, like the idiotic book "Evidence that Demands a Verdict", the detailed proof in isolation that the main function of myth is to express and describe no-free-will as an experiential insight of the mystic altered state.  I've already done the latter to some extent, scattered throughout my writings, and would need to summarize it in some detail with examples -- hard work of a somewhat lower type than describing my overall framework of assertions. 

Defining one's assertions and clarifying one's views and opinions is more important than isolated bits of evidence, which can always be read in multiple conflicting ways. 

The more I study the Jesus myth, the phony prohibition-for-profit scam, popular spirituality and meditation/contemplation, and theories of mystic enlightenment, the more important the topic of "interpretive frameworks" appears to be -- to the point where I must stop and infuse reflection about interpretive frameworks all throughout my topical discussions.  Everything, everything comes down to interpretive frameworks. 

For example, watching how establishment scholars "treat" and "cover" entheogens in Hellenistic religion, it's blatantly clear that what we see isn't scholarly treatment, but scholarly evasion, solving the problem of entheogens in the sense of "We have a problem on our hands.  It's obvious that entheogens are generally a perfect solution and the only solution in sight for explaining Hellenistic religion, including Christianity and Jewish religion, but of course we cannot accept this, so how can we get away with deflecting and dismissing it?"

Any one point in a theoretical framework can be debated, but what matters most is the self-consistency and integrity of the entire framework.  The framework I'm defining is designed to be the simplest possible model of enlightenment, revelation, mystic insight, transcendent knowledge, regeneration, psyche transformation, satori, or illumination. 

A prominent point in mystic myth is the distinctness between the revelation *about* moral agency and the conventional effort to be morally good.  This distinction and surprising separateness of domains (the domain of metaphysics of moral agency vs. the domain of conventional morality and quality of life) is reflected in various allegories in myth-religion-mysticism. 

What is revealed -- as opposed to ethics -- is an enlightenment about moral agency that offensively flies in the face of conventional morality and quality of life; based on what is revealed, a person could be enlightened but be conventionally immoral or have a terrible quality of life.  Enlightenment is revealed to be independent of conventional moral conduct and quality of life. 

There's nothing stopping one from applying enlightenment to moral and daily life, but the two domains are surprisingly and shockingly logically independent.

How many have experienced no-free-will, how strongly?

A minority have fully experienced and understood no-free-will -- most likely these are serious, sustained entheogen-using intense-mystic-state explorers.  In Classic Rock, many musicians have experienced it; the experience of no-free-will is very common, as reflected in Rock lyrics. 

Acid-inspired Rock is the authentic mystery-religion of our time.  People who use entheogens less intensely and regularly are likely to have had a briefer experience of no-free-will, failing to retain a grasp on the concept and integrate it into their thinking.  Non-entheogen-augmented meditators are unlikely to experience no-free-will. 

If no-free-will is used as a gauge to detect where actual mystic experiencing occurs and how strongly, there is a direct correlation between amount of using entheogens, and the amount of actual mystic experiencing.

Apprehension of succeeding at revealing no-free-will etc.

The significance for entheogen research is immense and near-total.  This paradigm changes nearly everything.  The entheogen scholars are far more correct than they have ever imagined, to the point that they no longer even know their own field.

I am concerned that freewill consciousness and the official type of religion that supported it might collapse because of my work and others' subsequent work in this area.  Wilber has always agreed with the Hegelian notion of progress of consciousness through prehistoric, ancient, classic, medieval, modern, and postmodern eras. 

I've always felt there is some sort of consciousness development over Western history, but that Wilber is misreading key aspects of the heart of this consciousness development: I have always read it as a movement from no-free-will, to freewill thinking during the Christianity-dominated era, to eventual no-free-will thinking again, perhaps in the 21st Century. 

Recently I wondered if Wilber was completely wrong -- that the supposed Hegelian history of consciousness is a sheer delusion of the scholars -- I said this based on the theory that the Greeks were not mysteriously different in their psychology, but that they merely used entheogens. 

My ideas today are the same as those I formerly held, but now, I realize just how sweeping and extensive the use of entheogenic "wine" was: imagine a society that has the same brains as moderns, and basically the same mental models through adolescence, but then everyone uses entheogenic "wine" all the time -- not just in 1-time or occasional initiations, not just in religion, but all the time, in all activities, practically every day. 

I previously imagined, like the entheogen scholars, that the Greeks had just a tiny bit of entheogen use, completely lost later during the Christian era.

The true essence of historical development of psychology may be from ubiquitous use of entheogens, entirely eliminating freewill thinking from the adult world, resulting in an entire society based on no-free-will thinking, among other such societies.  During the Christian era, entheogens were common, but were semi-suppressed, and the Church officially insisted on freewill thinking, even while always insisting on God's sovereignty and even cosmic determinism.  That lasted through the modern era. 

The fate of postmodernity may well be a return to no-free-will thinking combined with entheogen use, perhaps while retaining modern, ordinary state-of-consciousness, adult egoic thinking and the social structures founded on such thinking.  I propose using entheogens in moderation and adopting no-free-will thinking in moderation, and instead of mourning for freewill deluded thinking, take it fairly seriously: value it, protect and preserve it.

When an individual in the modern era, in the 1960s through 1980s, was brought to realization of no-free-will, it was apocalyptic: a revelation of the actual nearness of the end of the dominance of modern egoic societal consciousness. 

"Jump Into The Fire"

Harry Nilsson, 1971


You can climb a mountain

You can swim the sea

You can jump into the fire

But you'll never be free, no no

On a 1997 radio show "The History of Classic Rock", I heard the apocalypse of the early 1970s, the day the music died; some 26 years earlier, freewill thinking took a fatal spearing of the heart, leading inevitably to its death.  Through bubbling audio distortion, the full album Led Zeppelin IV played, time stopped, this passing age had been speared and the end was inevitably near for collective freewill thinking.

Led Zeppelin IV



This is the secret apocalypse of early 1970s Rock (but now we look back and even more strongly realize the scale of this change when we realize that the foundation of our culture, the Greeks, used entheogens constantly, not rarely, and thereby didn't based their culture on freewill thinking, but rather, on no-free-will thinking.  The fact that they thought in that mode, makes for a much more awesome effect than if we had just discovered no-free-will like some modern technological discovery. 

The realization and recognition that the ancients used entheogens infinitely more than we could have imagined, and that they, as a result, considered freewill thinking only fit for ignorant children and beasts, when added to the purely modern discovery of no-free-will, adds up to a massive, compelling effect. 

Our first move should be to affirm the priceless preciousness of building a culture based on freewill thinking, and retain all the value and goodness of such a culture of freewill thinking, a culture that produced many mental and cultural structures that are valuable. Then we should seek to *integrate* the new/old no-free-will thinking with the modern freewill thinking, and then we should seek to better grasp no-free-will thinking.

Did I ever want to be the chosen one to break the news?  I was injected with desire to discover transcendent knowledge and spread it; like so many self-help writers and thinkers, that has been my purpose ever since halfway through my struggle toward experientially discovering no-free-will and the block universe. 

Many have wanted to break the spell and bring enlightenment, but the enlightenment I found is not the one most are looking for, except Ramesh Balsekar - but he has no entheogen theory or historical revelations of that surprising root of Greek culture.

I don't want to be the chosen one, of the real end of modern consciousness, to fully and clearly break such powerful and potentially dangerous news, like Einstein pointing to the possibility of the bomb, with all its dangerous ambiguity and chilling neutrality: it's just a tool, a tool that could be used for good or not.  No one can say what will happen, only that they possibilities are alien and superhuman, like Hofmann's discovery of LSD on the white bicycle, or Leary's discovery of the effects of psilocybin by the pool. 

To strive for what I now know I'm striving for is like flying the bomb-dropping airplane and then having second thoughts while following orders, just before arriving at the target.  I can only suppose that if I don't deliver this surprising, unexpected, ambiguous and not necessarily well-received news, there are many more people waiting in the wings to do the job.

The highly ambiguous news I bring is: no-free-will, entheogens reveal no-free-will, Jesus figure means entheogens & no-free-will, all ancient "wine"/"mead" was effectively psilocybin beverage and their culture was, as a result, based on no-free-will.

If I don't break this news, someone else will, and the world could do worse than to have me as the messenger.  I advocate simple reasonable freewill moral-agency ethics even though freewill is largely a conventional illusion.  Convention is priceless and the greatest collective gift and treasure.

Knowing determinism = being enlightened?

Steve wrote:

>Regarding the term/phrase "intense mystic altered state":  What are the criteria for acknowledging and labeling the manifestations of "intense mystic altered state"?  What is the necessity of acknowledging and labeling the manifestations of "intense mystic altered state"? 

>Consider someone who hasn't experienced the intense mystic altered state, but who comprehends that metaphysically free will is an illusion.  This person's mind and body aren't pumped full of endorphins every time they focus on the truth of causality in the universe.  Why is vivid mystic experiencing fundamentally relevant and important, or even essential, for the knowledge domain of tenseless-time block universe determinism and no-free-will? 

>The intense mystic altered state isn't necessary to intellectually understand that metaphysically free will is an illusion.  In the intense mystic altered state, there is probably a statistical spread of feelings and apparent insights ranging from naive delusions of metaphysical freedom to true insights about block-universe determinism.  Therefore mystic experiencing is an unreliable foundation for the philosophy of block-universe determinism. 

>If we make mystic experiencing rather than reason the foundation for the philosophy of block-universe determinism, this is an ineffective strategy, because people might subjectively experience a feeling of (logically impossible) metaphysical freedom while in the mystic state, and be thereby hindered from comprehending the unique philosophical soundness of no-free-will.

Anyone who says "I experience the sense of freedom" is uninformed by the intense mystic altered state.  A myth in the proper sense is a metaphorical description of insights and experiences encountered in the intense mystic altered state.  The definition of 'myth' as 'falsity' is inferior and degraded, because it originates from a failure to comprehend the meaning of mythological description of the mystic state.  The point and message of mythology is that there isn't free will.

Steve wrote:

>That assertion is confusing, because it mixes myth with the mystic altered state, which is a rare equation, and makes a rare assertion, that the main function of myth is to allegorize the mystic-state expeirence of no-free-will and the resulting and concomitant insight about no-free-will.  Are there scholarly works that support this equation of myth, mysticism, and no-free-will?  Scholars currently maintain that myths have many points and messages, not just one point and message (no-free-will).

In what ways can we and can we not simply equate the following?

o  Mythology

o  Religion

o  Mysticism

o  Enlightenment

o  Block-universe determinism

If someone is fully confident about and committed to no-free-will (timeless single-future frozen-future block-universe determinism), but lacks mystic experiencing and has limited knowledge of mysticism, myth, religion, and religious philosophy, would the best model of ego transcendence designate that person as "enlightened"?  The term "enlightened", like any term, has multiple meanings, relative to multiple contexts.  The two main contrasting contexts are:

o  The cybernetic theory of ego transcendence (which closely matches Zen meditation such as portrayed by Alan Watts, with potential sudden worldmodel transformation that switches certain aspects of the mind independently of conduct-of-life).  There is a determinist tendency or character in this view.  The idea of "free salvation" fits this category or framework.

o  Popular Western Buddhism & meditation, which conceives of enlightenment as also entailing a wholesale enhancement and transformation of one's conduct of life, similar to the popular Christian story of mundane moral repentence leading from moral turpitude to moral upstandingness.  This system conceives of 'enlightenment' in a highly ethics-oriented and practical-conduct oriented sense.  There is a freewillist tendency or character in this view.  The Reformed theology accusation of "salvation through works" describes this category.

These views that aren't always grouped, but they tend to line up into these two poles.  We should study many permutations of worldviews, but these are the two most imporant, even if they are simplified and ideal, first-order approximations.  Logical consistency may require me to label the second view 'egoic'.  Perhaps that label is too cheap or distracting, like "demonic" or "damned" or "lost", and I should pick another. 

If I call the spiritualist 'damned', that's nothing; they write me off as just another stupid Believer, but if I call them egoic, they are truly hurt and insulted.  Like my recent construct of "the egoic conception of ego transcendence versus the transcendent conception of ego transcendence", consider the expression "the egoic conception of enlightenment versus the transcendent conception of enlightenment". 

As http://www.onewitheverything.org says about the confusing word "spiritual":

>>When secular and reason based people invoke a baggage laden word like "spiritual", anti-humanists are given the opportunity to twist our words to their own advantage, an opportunity which some have not hesitated to take. Accordingly, this site is being gradually brought into greater and greater clarity as the occurrences of the word "spiritual" and its derivatives are being replaced with more precise language. These changes will hopefully enable the site to convey more effectively what this work is about. The text on this page has not yet been updated or at present has only been partially updated to reflect this change. During this transition, the site may appear to be inconsistent, yet during this phase it may be both interesting and informative to note where the word "spiritual" is still used and to subsequently observe how the text is changed while still expressing its essential meaning.

What better, more to-the-point way could there be to condemn or disparage popular Western Buddhism and enlightenment than to designate it "the egoic conception of enlightenment and spirituality and religious method"?  Lower religion is egoic/exoteric religion; higher religion is transcendent/esoteric religion.  If Western Buddhism is actually lower religion posing as higher religion, then it is egoic religion posing as transcendent religion. 

Western Buddhism is actually more like mid-level religion -- it attempts to conflate and jam together metaphysical enlightenment with ethical conduct of life, while I want to keep these more distinct and define enlightenment as being about moral agency, but not particularly entailing good mundane moral conduct.  In practice, Western Buddhism is weak at metaphysical enlightenment in much the same way that philosophical determinism is weak at conveying metaphysical enlightenment. 

As a sort of compensation, Western Buddhism ends up as a warmed-over or disguised and re-clothed liberal Protestant moralism, and we end up with nonmystical enhancement-of-life being presented as though it conveys metaphysical enlightenment and more.  The right solution is to distinguish clearly between enlightenment and life-enhancement, and distinguish between the two aspects of enlightenment as the conceptual grasp of enlightenment and the experience of enlightenment. 

Then the ideal person would have a firm conceptual grasp of enlightenment and a full mystic experience of enlightenment and good conduct-of-life and life enhancement.  It is debatable and culture-relative to discuss conduct-of-life and life-enhancement, so that area falls out from a scientific theory of enlightenment that is driven by discovering how things are. 

Conduct of life isn't something to discover, and should be treated as a distinct topic from core enlightenment.  Core theory of enlightenment is independent of the philosophy of conduct of life.  Conduct of life isn't the first order of business in a theory or model of enlightenment -- the concepts and experiences of enlightenment are the core of such a theory.  Conduct of life is a secondary application of the core theory of enlightenment and ego trancendence -- a distinct domain, essentially independent even if cross-applicable.

It is arbitrary but justifiable, how one defines the qualifications for being enlightened, and how one defines 'enlightenment'.  Some Western Buddhists, such as many anti-entheogen meditation proponents, reject mystic experiencing as a condition and include conduct-of-life criteria.  I take the other side: I hold that it's more justified to require mystic experiencing and consider conduct-of-life criteria to be independent.  To be enlightened according to the model of transcendent knowledge is to have a full comprehension including wide intellectual learning, and experience, but not necessarily approved conduct.


There are three domains to consider in deciding what to include in "enlightenment" or "being illuminated" or "having transcendent knowledge":

A. Comprehending a set of concepts

B. Experiencing the intense mystic altered state

C. Ethical conduct and enhanced daily life

A is least problematic: most spiritualists can agree that enlightenment rightly includes comprehending some concepts or precepts or principles, such as the relation of self and world and other selves.  The debate on this point is about how enlightenment concepts fit together with enlightenment.

B is debatable: can one be called enlightened, illuminated, saved, transformed, extinguished, or regenerated, if one knows intellectually all about mystic experiencing and insights, but hasn't personally experienced a series of intense mystic altered state sessions?  By a generous definition, yes; by a strict definition, no.

C is debatable: can you be enlightened without being ethically good or without having an enhanced daily life as a result and component of enlightenment?

I'm defining the simplest, most ergonomic model of enlightenment.  By this criteria, I eliminate C (while noting that I personally endorse ordinary good behavior and being decent to other people) and I define B as necessary for a truly classic and full definition of enlightenment -- otherwise the result is conceptual enlightenment without the experience of illumination. 

A is definitely necessary, B is ideally required (and there's no good reason to lack first-hand intense mystic experiencing), and C is essentially distinct from enlightenment as compactly conceived -- C is essentially the realm of ethics and daily life-conduct, not enlightenment proper.

A useful distinction then is between being only conceptually or intellectually enlightened, versus being both experientially and intellectually enlightened; being illuminated both intellectually and experientially; possessing transcendent knowledge both conceptually and experientially.  A person cannot be considered mentally or psychically (spiritually) mature if they haven't experienced ego death and the other intense mystic state phenomena, any more than if the person hasn't experienced sexual climax.

My main principle for deciding what is required for "enlightenment" is discovery: discovering our innate potential of experiencing ego death and other aspects of illumination, and discovering how things are versus deciding how we think things ought to be -- thus rejecting the expectation that "enlightenment ought to make people good and ought to enhance daily life" as unscientific, culturally relative, and outside the scope of a compact theory of enlightenment. 

I accept daily-life enhancement as an application of enlightenment or illumination or revelation, but not as definitive of enlightenment itself.  A good way to pose the question per my treatment is "What is enlightenment, illumination, satori, and revelation?" 

At the extreme, the meditation approach that has proven woefully inefficient at producing enlightenment, illumination, revelation, or satori has fallen into the disgraced apologetic position of actually disparaging satori, disparaging revelation, disparaging illumination, and disparaging enlightenment -- all along with disparaging mystic experiencing, to excuse itself by putting daily life enhancement on a pedestal. 

This attitude excuses its incompetence by claiming that all that is of worth in religion is ethics, and no value resides in the realm of mystic experiencing.  That attitude is the attitude of low, egoic religion.  Some meditation proponents definitely end up doing that; it's not hard to find extreme statements to that effect, nearby to statements supposedly pointing out what's wrong with entheogens as a method of enlightenment. 

The only way to put down entheogens is to put down mystic experiencing itself, and putting something else in its place, which is ethics and the enhancement of daily life -- often with claims that the genuine mystic state is a permanent state, not a transient glimpse, paired with the assertion that few people are able to achieve this. 

Actual mystic experiencing is taken away and replaced by ethical ideals posing as transcendent enlightenment, with layers of transcendent talk layered on like gold plating on copper.  Western Buddhism and meditation has a medium amount of the conceptual content of transcendent knowledge, combined with very little direct mystic experiencing, with a great deal of ethics and conduct of life and mundane life enhancement.  These are matters of degree.

Recipe for Western Buddhism and meditation:

Level of focus on conceptual knowledge: 50% (for example, no-separate-self gets lots of press, but the logically concomitant principle of no-free-will gets little press).

Level of mystic experiencing: 10%

Level of ethics content, conduct of life, daily life enhancement: 85%

Recipe for compact transcendent knowledge (this is the balance and definition of 'enlightenment' or transcendent knowledge I'm proposing):

Level of conceptual knowledge: 90%

Level of mystic experiencing: 67%

Level of ethics content, conduct of life, daily life enhancement: 15%

These percentages well express what I've taken many words to grapple with lately.  To move from unenlightenment to enlightenment, pop meditationism ought to put much more focus on conceptual knowledge and intense mystic experiencing, and much less focus on conduct of life. 

Pop meditation isn't totally deluded -- no individual is totally deluded or totally enlightened; such extremes are just useful as a first-order of approximation in a model of enlightenment/revelation/satori/illumination or transcendent knowledge.  There is some room in a theory of transcendent knowledge for conduct of life, but conduct of life isn't the main part of the compact core of what enlightenment reveals as a discovery.

Philosophical determinism breaks out as follows:

Level of focus on conceptual knowledge: 80% (uninformed about the determinism/religion connection such as mystic no-free-will and surprisingly ignorant of the closely related topic of Reformed theology)

Level of mystic experiencing: 2%

Level of ethics content, conduct of life, daily life enhancement: 67%

Philosophical determinists are therefore not enlightened or illuminated; they do not yet have revelation and satori.  They need to have more complete conceptual knowledge extending to domains such as mysticism theory and Reformed theology, and need to write a book "The History of Determinism".  They need to be familiar with the experience of mystic feeling and sensing, and they need to gain focus in those areas before they can succeed at balancing the concerns about conduct of life.

Mind remains bounded and fragmented in time

Michael Hoffman wrote:

>The Non-reality of Free Will - Richard Double, 1991, $60

>This book, like most determinism books is fairly conventional and unimaginative -- it seems to lack awareness of the new theory of tenseless time and the B series of time slices (Nathan Oaklander) without a time-journeying continuant agent.

>Such theorists just read each other incestuously and haven't encountered time face-to-face in the loosecog state.

>They all unconsciously stay within the same conception of time, and debate within that shared background assumption. But time is the crux of the matter and to break out of the ruts of thinking about unfreedom, we must develop a different model of time.

Michael Anderson wrote:

>I still don't understand how you reconcile determinism with unpredictability. I suppose that quantum uncertainty could have something to do with this, but still, if ego-death allows for access to out-of-time-ness (for lack of a better word), why doesn't it also allow precognition? Is there some part of our ego which remains in tact and keeps us blind to that part of time which appears to us as the future?  What is going on here?

Alan Watts addresses exactly this question in the book The Supreme Identity (1950, out of print), page 151.  As the infinite Self, you are present at each spacetime location.  As a finite ego, you are only present at your current spacetime location.  The infinite Self is omniscient, but its knowledge is spread about among the spacetime locations. 

The mind can sense its identity with the Self rather than the usual identity with the time-entrapped ego, but that sensing happens at a particular limited point in finite time.

Full knowledge, understanding, and experiencing of ego death is possible without any significant breakthrough in understanding how consciousness itself works.  I label this mysterious aspect of consciousness Present Here-Now Awareness.  Transcendent knowledge shines only a moderate light on the mystery of consciousness itself. 

During the mystic state, the mind remains positioned at a limited, particular point in time.  The mind during the mystic state can feel, sense, and intellectually grasp its connectedness to the Self, or the Ground, but consciousness remains limited and bounded by time as well as space.  Translate time concepts to space concepts and you can see what a tall order it is to see the particulars of the future. 

Prophecy is a report of visionary possibilities that are intuitively envisioned, not literally directly seeing the particular events of the future.  If you feel cosmic unity, do you expect to be able to see a scene from around the world, or on the other side of a wall?  Expecting to see the future during unity consciousness is like expecting to see something happening now at a distant location.

Unity consciousness means becoming aware of the condition of unity, but the infinite, or the Ground, remains conscious in the form of distributed, bounded moments of awareness at various spacetime points.  It feels like being an unbounded god looking through the eyes of a bounded mind.

"I sense and feel that I am unbounded, and I intellectually know that I am (in some profound way) unbounded, yet I peer out through the thin straw of a bounded mind."  The lower, bounded mind remains, as well as the higher, unbounded identity.

Does experiencing determinism prove it as fact?

>Your doctrine is irrefutable merely because it is subjective to the observer.  Determinism may or may not be true, but then what is truth; is it "real"?  A better construct may be the truth and falseness of both determinism and free will.

I disagree that determinism is false.  We have no observational or theoretical abstract refutation of determinism.  The only arguments against it are emotional/moral ("But we *have* to believe in free will, to protect morality") or indicate that they fail to understand what determinism asserts ("We make decisions, and are free to do what we will, therefore free will is the case.")  Our supposed social psychological needs are irrelevant to the question of metaphysical truth, and the fact that we make decisions is easily encompassed by a deterministic model.  See Richard Double's outstanding book Metaphilosophy and Free Will.

I disagree that free will is true.  When pressed, defendents of free will can't even define what their position is, what free will is about and what it has to offer that can't be encompassed by determinism.  The very concept of free will is inherently a vague, cloudy haze.

The best philosophical position is the truth of determinism (or better, time-transcendent fatedness) and the falsity of free will.

>Determinism is subjective to the experiencer.  There is no scientific validity to your method (double blind tests et all), although that does not make it invalid, merely improvable.

I generally agree.  My model and theory of time, fate, determinism, will, and personal control agency does not proceed from a basis of Reason, but rather, mystic altered state Experience comes first, and Reason follows, striving to make sense out of the insights encountered during the mystic state.  We cannot be absolutely certain about reality -- but we can gain multiple perspectives and experiences, and strive to construct the most coherent model.  You *may* have noticed that I often refrain lately from talking about Truth. 

I am much more inclined to say that determinism is *perceived* or encountered in the mystic state, and that determinism is a far *simpler* and more coherent model than free will moral agency.  I would hesitate to say that enlightenment is of the truth of determinism, and delusion is falsity.  When I am being precise, I would not simply say that the ego is false, or that free will is false.  Metaphysical free will is a weak premise and is fatally called into doubt - rendered extremely problematic -- while experiencing the mystic perspective. 

Metaphysically free will is a *highly unstable* and unreliable notion.  Is it false?  I may declare it false, but then I must state my theory of epistemology: under what conditions, and with what limitations, can we "conclude" that something is false?  How certain is our certainty?  It is certain that many people perceive and experience determinism (timeless fatedness and Necessity, or perhaps best, "Heimarmene") during the mystic peak window.  But does the perception and experience of determinism *prove* determinism?  No -- it just proves that deterministic relationships and concepts must be taken into account when modelling the world of human experience, especially peak experience. 

We see the sun revolve around the earth.  It is a fact that the sun revolves around the earth, but that is an incomplete fact.  We see with our own Eye the fact of heimarmene, but is heimarmene a compelete fact?  Perceptions of the world and the cognitive dynamics in the mind (such as seeing the way in which the will is a puppet of the Ground of Being) must be tempered and contextualized with additional concepts.  Determinism is more of an insight and a revelation with tremendous ramifications for moral agency, rather than a proven, certain fact.

Improving the study of determinism


Recommendations for improving the study of determinism:

Read Richard Double's book Metaphilosophy and Free Will, about the different motives and conceptions of what philosophy is for.

Make the study of tenseless time, or the frozen timeless block universe, central.

Make the mystic state of cognition, which is associated with no-free-will, central.

Show how Process Philosophy/Process Theology (which assumes an actually open future and a metaphysically free will) is set against tenseless time and intense mystic-state experiencing.

Freewillism and process philosophy are set against religious tradition and against the history of philosophy.  Overall, religion and philosophy start by affirming determinism, and then they struggle to patch on "but nevertheless, we are genuine free moral agents".  They generally don't reject determinism; they instead admit it, and glorify it, and then attempt to also provide apologetics for freewill moral agency. 

I agree with these majority traditions in glorifying determinism, but I reject their attempt to patch on freewill moral agency.  Freewill moral agency is no more than a practical illusion of convention.  Official theology considers the saints to be those who respect determinism but also believe in metaphysically free moral agency -- in contrast, I define saints as those who respect determinism and reject the very possibility of metaphysically free moral agency. 

Moral agency there is, but only *virtual*, secondary moral agency; individuals are not prime movers, only secondary movers.  I don't call this view compatibilism -- it is determinism correctly understood.  Most supposed compatibilists draw an absurd, inaccurate picture of the determinism position and label themselves as more reasonable, as 'compatibilists'.  They are really just defining the proper definition of 'determinism', but relabelling it 'compatibilism'. 

Compatibilism is the most garbled position.  I understand what freewillists believe, think, and feel, and I understand what determinists believe, think, and feel; but those two positions can't be blended or averaged; they are inherently fundamentally opposed.  There are really just 2 positions, with the 'determinism' position broken into two different definitions of really the same position.  Compatibilism and determinism are the same position, defined by two slightly different sets of semantic definitions. 

The debate is really the freewillists against the compatibilists/determinists.  Compatibilism and determinism are mistaken as two positions, but compatibilists are really just muddled determinists, or are determinists who make themselves appear to be in the middle, by defining 'determinism' in an absurd straw-man way that no one has ever endorsed.  That's the same move as Calvinists trying to make themselves look moderate by inventing an absurd position that no one actually takes, called "hyper-Calvinism". 

Most compatibilists are just dissembling, dishonest determinists -- determinists without the guts to own up to their actual position.  The position of determinism, properly defined by its advocates, asserts existential freedom and virtual secondary freedom and the sense of free moral agency, and the acceptability of punishing and rewarding people as freewill moral agents. 

Most self-labelled compatibilists falsely assert that the 'determinism' position denies existential freedom, denies virtual, secondary freedom, and denies the sense of free moral agency, and denies moral conventions.  Their motive for falsely defining 'determinism' is to make themselves appear to be more reasonable or mild and acceptable.  There are very few true compatibilists. 

True compatibilists believe in metaphysically free moral agency with an actually open future (open in itself, not just in our present knowledge about it) -- just as conveived by true freewillists -- while also believing in complete determinism.  There are also dishonest or muddle-headed self-labelled 'freewillists' who are actually determinists; by mis-defining 'determinism' and rejecting that kind of determinism, and focusing on the kinds of freedom we do have, they falsely label themselves freewillists. 

Official theology is really pretty much true compatibilism, which is acknowledged to be ultimately a "mystery" -- the excuse for its insane irrationality is "the fallen sinful mind is unable to comprehend this mystery, and we fallen sinners don't have the right to question God's mysterious transcendent wisdom". 

That illegitimate fallback onto "mystery", the final defense of the orthodox position, is the logical end-state of trying to first fully affirm determinism and then apologetically add on "but genuine metaphysically free moral agency still exists nevertheless".  The orthodox position requires complete irrational, even anti-rational faith on this point; saints are claimed to believe two points that flatly and directly contradict each other. 

A better, rational, gnostic view is that reason firmly concludes determinism and rejects metaphysical freewill moral agency but that a proper transcendence of reason can accept a virtual, as-if, experiential semblance of metaphysical freedom -- this amounts to utilizing the idea of genuine freewill without taking it as a literal reality, and utilizing the mystic *experience* of recovery of the sense of freedom. 

The kind of freedom the gnostic mystic advocates is divine freedom, not common, deluded, insistent metaphysical free will.  The theologians have an illegitimate brute-force insistence on metaphysical freewill of the type people are accustomed to assuming in the default state of cognition, while the legitimate mystics advocate a different, more purely transcendent and mystic-experience-based freedom. 

The legitimate progression is from the default-state ignorant feeling and assumption of plain and simple unproblematic metaphysical free will moral agency, to the mystic-state insight of cosmic determinism which can lead to a practical problem of stable self-control, and then to a wise and highly qualified and mystically informed transcendent type of freedom that is contrasted to the simple garbled assumption of separate-self freewill that the uninitiated have. 

A discussion of determinism without treatment of these theological problems and mystic experiences is grossly uninformed and lacks insight and relevance.


I basically agree with Galen Strawson's position and phrasing.  He covers spirituality, interpersonal relations, the sense of freedom, and the sense of responsibility.

Living Without Ultimate Moral Responsibility

Galen Strawson, interviewed by Tamler Sommers, on getting free of free will


March, 2003

It would be a mistake to treat his position in this interview as unique.  His position is simply the standard position of determinism, clearly and properly expressed -- though it could be improved by covering the mystic altered state, Hellenistic religions, the timeless frozen block universe, and the weakness of the "temporal causal domino chain" conception of determinism. 

As elsewhere at that site, no-free-will is true whether or not the scenario called "determinism" (conventional causal-chain determinism) is true.  We need to come up with better, more robust, clearer definitions of the two poles: a better model of the "freewill" position or mental worldmodel, and a better model of the "determinism" position or scenario or worldmodel.

It would be relevant to comment on


Charlottesville Group on Naturalistic Spirituality and Enlightenment -- The Scientific and Logical Foundations of a Naturalistic Spirituality

That approach is headed in the right direction, but doesn't seem to recognize the concurring enlightenment and entheogens in Hellenistic religion.  I can achieve alot by bringing together existing partially correct perspectives such as this -- I need to get the no-historical-Jesus community in the same room with the no-free-will community, entheogen community, and rational spirituality community, and show them how they powerfully converge and have a clear predecessor in Hellenistic mystery-religions. 

The page lacks the intense experiential aspect of *experiencing* no-free-will and experiencing the subsequent recovery of the sense of sovereign controllership.  We now only have a partial, garbled grasp that doesn't recognize that these areas fit together to form a highly stable system.

Their group's goals include:

o  To explore the process by which spirituality and spiritual experiences are fostered in people, and to develop methods of cultivating a naturalistic spirituality in ourselves and others which will promote individual happiness, interpersonal kindness, and compassionate and constructive social policy.

o  To understand and explore the phenomenon of enlightenment as a natural and comprehensible neuropsychological process.

o  To explore methods both traditional (e.g., insight meditation, Zen Buddhism, etc.) and modern (biofeedback, hypnosis, etc.) which might promote the experience of enlightenment in ourselves and others.

As always, for "etc." read "entheogens", such as psilocybin mushrooms -- the ergonomic natural path to enlightenment (when combined with study, or intellectual development).  The magazine "What Is Enlightenment?" has officially set itself against this kind of spirituality, which is based on no-free-will. 

In the book What Love Is This?, conservative Protestant Dave Hunt has also taken a definite stance against no-free-will (in Calvinism), and the author of the popular Left Behind series has endorsed Hunt's book.  Official theology would claim to be superior to the above approach, insisting that we really are genuine metaphysically free moral agents even ("mysteriously") though everything is determined and the future is singular and preset and timelessly present. 

By embracing anti-rational "mystery" -- frank self-contradiction -- orthodoxy remains distinctive.  To remain in the orthodox religion, you must believe two directly contradictory positions; orthodoxy "owns" this area, and disowns anyone who advocates either a pure freewillist or a pure determinist worldmodel. 

Orthodoxy thus is absolutely committed to both genuine moral freedom *and* absolute, complete determinism, and calls the acceptance of this religion "faith" and "mystery", but those forms of "faith" and "mystery" are bastardizations of legitimate mystic "faith" and "mystery", which are based in intense mystic experiencing and insights.

Book: Jesus: Pagan Christ or Jewish Messiah?

Jesus: Pagan Christ or Jewish Messiah?

by Laurence E. Dalton, Shirley Strutton Dalton


Paperback - 196 pages 1st edition (2000)

Xlibris Corporation; ISBN: 073883369X ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.52 x 8.54 x 5.52

>A skeptic's search for the historical Jesus and the origins of Christianity. Who was this man, Jesus? Was he a Jewish prophet or messiah? A Zealot rebel leader? A Cynic philosopher? A pagan Christ? Did Jesus really live? Who created Jesus?


Home (theory of the ego death and rebirth experience)