Sacred kingship. Differentiating between egoic personal control, transcendent personal control, and the hidden uncontrollable transcendent controller
When we talk about two modes of control -- before and after enlightenment, egoic worldmodel vs. transcendent worldmodel, the mind's personal controllership before enlightenment and the mind's personal controllership after enlightenment, do not confuse the mind's transcendent thinking about control (or transcendent mode of control) with the hidden uncontrollable transcendent controller.
Looking at a person we may talk of the person's lower and higher self, but don't think that that person's higher self or higher mode of thinking about control somehow gives them powerful ability to control the hidden uncontrollable transcendent controller. Differentiate:
o The mind's lower way of thinking about its controllership
o The mind's higher way of thinking about its controllership
o The hidden uncontrollable transcendent controller (first entirely hidden, then speculatively seen like the "backside of God")
You can gain the transcendent way of thinking about control, but you as a personal center of control agency cannot ever control the hidden uncontrollable transcendent controller -- upon enlightenment ("awakening from sleep"), you can become *aware of* the hidden uncontrollable transcendent controller, but this does *not* enable you to command and control it -- quite the opposite.
People think that because Jesus is united with God in some way, he has power over God, but the power relationship works the other way. Jesus is as a slave of God, but God is not as a slave of Jesus. God unites the mystic to himself as the puppetmaster awakes the puppet to the real control relationship -- upon being given knowledge of truth, the puppet does not become the puppetmaster or the meta puppetmaster.
The relationship is revealed and made conscious, yet does not change: puppetmaster/puppet, parent/child, author/character, programmer/virtual agent, master/slave. Never think that seeing God and seeing your oneness with God gives you, a local and secondary center of control, the power of God or power over God; learning to perceive the uncontrollable transcendent controller in no way enables you to compel the uncontrollable transcendent controller.
Enlightenment does not confer power so much as it confers integrity and coherent purity of thinking. It conveys a kind of legitimate kingship, but kingship is the awareness that one does *not* wield primary control power -- but that rather one is as a slave, or child, or puppet, or virtual agent, under a master, babe's parent, puppetmaster, or programmer.
The initiate does come into their own higher self and higher worldmodel, and unites with the divine transcendent controller, but the initiate's higher mode of control absolutely remains below the transcendent controller. I am now come into my kingship, I have ascended my throne in heaven, *but* there is a throne above mine.
I now may be said to sit on a throne next to God, *but* God's throne always is cybernetically a control-level above mine. The divine sacred king is not God, but is one through whom God rules (to qualify as a legit sacred king, the king must have been crashed and rebooted/rescued by the Ultimate Level of Control.
In a shallow reading, you might think that this theory of enlightenment as becoming conscious of cybernetic levels of control only serves to explain Western religion, that Zen and Buddhism are superior to all this nonsense. However, upon closer study, there are in fact directly equivalent mythic concepts in the other world religions.
Only an exoteric false characterization can pretend that all the religions are different. Esoterically, all the religions are the same; any other esotericism is either absent or false or misunderstood. This cybernetic theory is a universal theory of myth-religion that fully applies to Buddhism and Zen and Christianity, Judaism and the "primitive religions" and the religion of the androids on planet Zarkon.
As an initiator, I will make you a true king (with spiritual legitimacy but not necessarily with political power). Every citizen of democratic Athens was initiated and thus considered a legitimate king, but not one with subjects. A true legitimate king is one whose controllership has been crashed and generously rebooted by the Good, by the ever-inscrutable and ever-hidden (though now intuitively "revealed") uncontrollable transcendent controller.
Once you discover that there has always been and will be a higher controller-king over you, although you now clearly see the king, the will of the king still remains utterly inscrutable to you. Although when initiated you now learn to perceive and recognize the rulership/controllership of Isis over you, the will of Isis still remains utterly inscrutable to you.
You now see God, the Light, the Good -- yet the will of God remains utterly hidden to you as a separate control agent. Jesus sees his Father, yet the will of the Father remains hidden and inscrutable to Jesus; Jesus must be given faith by the Father that the Father will can crash but will generously, out of the arbitrary Loving Goodness of his inscrutable heart, reboot Jesus' viable personal controllership.
Washington was likely an entheogenically enlightened Masonic mystic who experienced cybernetic death and rebirth, and who was in favor of giving divine kingship to each citizen, so that each citizen is a legitimate sacred king who happens to rule over no subjects except himself.
This is the character of Hellenistic thinking, which integrates mystic ego-death and rebirth, kingship, and politics: Is God a god of wrath and sheer crushing power, or a god of sustaining love and nurturing compassion? Certainly God is true, there's no question about that, and powerful -- the question is, is God just true and powerful, or true and powerful *and* Good (virtuous)?
Is Isis the puppetmaster heartless, or virtuous and kind? Does he worship sheer power, or love? Should our political system be based on the truth of will to power, or on truth married to the law of love? Is our political system based on power alone, or on truth that binds itself to love and the Good?
>Watt's frequently poined out that Westerners, or any practitioner
>of "monarchical monotheism," have a hard time understanding the
>experience of unity, since to say "I am God" seems to be the insane,
>and obviously false claim, that "I am the controller of the world."
>Watts would make that claim, then nonplus his audience by admitting
>that, yes, he was controling everything that was going on. Of
>course, he would point out, he didn't KNOW how he was doing it, but
>then he (and we) didn't know how he was breathing by making his lungs
>move, or circulating his blood by beating his heart.
In a certain specifiable sense, I am the controller of the cosmos. However, the "I" in the sense of me as a practical virtually separate controller, as a locus of control power, is different than "I" in the sense of "controller of the cosmos". The "I" when I say "I am God" is distinct from the "I" when I say "I am a local locus of control power." The aspect of me which is God is not controllable by the aspect of me which is a local limited locus of control power.
The transcendent mind necessarily has mastered language to know that key words have two meanings. It may be a matter of some demonic panicked urgency to discover the second, saving meaning-network.
Melody or someone else asked why schizophrenia causes one to feel all-controlling or all-controlled (delusions of control means either). My explanation: in the mind beset with long-term loose cognition, the locus of perceived control actually shifts all over the place, everywhere from "I feel like I control everything" to "I feel like everything controls me", *including* the default, normal, unspoken middle feeling, which is "I am one partial-controller among many".
Schizophrenics feel all three, but no one mentions the middle -- it needs to be pointed out that very often, a schizophrenic experiences themselves as one partial-controller among many, with a limited degree of control over other people and the world, and with the world and other people exerting a limited degree of control over the schizophrenic person.
This partial-controller feeling can be consciously studied during loose cognition by thinking in terms of observing the social-control field in one's own mind. When someone walks along and comes into view, that automatically causes a normal mind's thoughts to switch into personal interaction mode, even though the mind doesn't consciously will that mode. In loose cognition, the default, ingrained, automatic dynamic mental structures are disengaged; the mind switches from autopilot to manual control.
Normal, healthy thinking is based on the delusion of the egoic interpretation of the nature of one's control over one's thoughts and actions. Insofar as normal personal control is largely deluded, so the two standard "delusions of control" (I'm being controlled by the world, I have full control over the world) could be described as somewhat enlightened.
Philosophical thinking is aware that the mind in some sense solipsistically creates and controls and projects the world. Who can argue with the madman's good sense? Certainly, in some sense, I *am* extremely controlled by the world, and in *some* sense, I am the creator of the world and I have omnipotent control over the world.
The madman has one imbalanced interpretation of these word/meaning networks, and normal deluded egoic thinking has a different imbalanced interpretation of these word/meaning networks. Ideally, the enlightened mind breaks through to a truly balanced interpretation.
From the egoic deluded imbalanced delusion of egoic controllership, the mind moves to the loose-cognition imbalanced "delusions of control", and through that, through integrating those various imbalanced delusions of controllership, the mind matures to understand the merely practical and conventional nature of personal controllership and the ego illusion.
My goal initially was to be radically non-neurotic. The harder I pursued this goal, the more frustrating it became. I sought to control my ways of thinking, and remained dysfunctional or self-conflicting and self-contradicting in practical personal management. The clearer my ideals were, the more conscious I was of utterly failing to attain them.
I turned to problems of control, and encountered a series of partial worldmodel transformations regarding self, time, will, control, and world. Then I became busy systematizing that worldmodel change and mapping it to historical myth-religion. I don't work much to try to become radically non-neurotic. I found that the attempt to become radically non-neurotic amounted to a self-exacerbating circular control problem; not only was I as neurotic as ever, I became neurotic about being neurotic.
Now, adhering to and developing a model of *non* control or the inherent limitations of control, and a definition of enlightenment as understanding the inherent limitations of control, I am neurotic but no longer neurotic about being neurotic.
I am interested in finding out about your method of attempting to attain radical non-neurosis. If you define your goal in an extreme way and insistently pursue it with every resource you can muster, but remain critical of your remaining imperfections (as judged by your criteria), you could become chronically frustrated. But this may be determined by your basic personality or constitution.
My model of enlightenment is centrally concerned with revising ideas about the nature of personal control -- essentially a rigorously systematized and more straightforward version of Alan Watts' conception of religious insight. I have at least reduced some major aspects of meta-neurosis. I set the goals low, for what "basic full enlightenment" should mean.
My early notebooks are filled with work on the problem you are describing: the goal of eliminating self-conflict. I have eliminated certain aspects of self-conflict by securing a certain kind of classic enlightenment. I generally concluded that the mind is inherently prone to self-conflict, and that the attempt to eliminate self-conflict is highly liable to actually exacerbate self-conflict, so that minimizing self-conflict requires accepting a reasonable degree of self-conflict.
Minimizing neurosis requires accepting a reasonable degree of neurosis. There is a huge difference between minimizing neurosis and radically eliminating neurosis. I think degree of neurosis is largely genetically determined. Some people are more constitutionally neurotic, inherently.
Therefore your own personal system of attaining some type of radical non-neurosis might possibly work for you, to attain your goal as you conceive it, while other people might not be able to effectively take advantage of your method; it might have poor reproducibility because dependent on individual constitution. I am systematizing a universally attainable conception of enlightenment.
Many people could try your method and I suspect -- not knowing anything about it except my own grappling with eliminating self-conflict -- that only a few will succeed, and many will wind up in a tight knot of frustration. I follow Watts here, in his portrayal of Zen -- self-conflict remains after enlightenment, but not meta-self-conflict. I bracket off enlightenment, in certain respects, so that in some ways it eliminates neurosis, and in some ways not.
>I note, FWIW, that your intentions and mine are only partly overlapping.
>You are in large part interested in overturning the dominant
>publicly-held paradigm of what enlightenment is and how to achieve it.
>This drives you to frequently evaluate, generalize and simplify the
>positions taken by various "camps." Your interest is historical,
>scholarly and polemic as well as practical.
That is only my *recent* concern. I first developed my core theory of transcendent knowledge by taking the same attitude as you -- studying theories of enlightenment with a skeptical and utilitarian strategy, based on the axiom that previous systematizations were crude and garbled, which I still hold.
>My interest is far more narrow. I want to become enlightened as quickly
That was my concern, too, in my initial phase -- Oct 1985-Jan 1988.
>Consequently, I don't care a whit what various camps claim
>about what enlightenment is or is not, except as it has a bearing on my
>project. (BTW: This specifically and explicitly includes not caring what
>Ken Wilber thinks. :-D)
That was my strategy, too, in my initial phase of struggling for non-neurosis, leading to discovering my core theory of transcendent knowledge.
>In fact, I think focusing too much on what enlightenment has
>historically been thought to be is directly counter to my project. Why?
>Because science has overturned many of the assumptions on which such
>historical notions were founded.
That was my attitude, too, and essentially remains my basic attitude, with my historical studies added later as a peripheral layer. A theory of enlightenment that fails to map to historical religions to identify the degree of insight they had is of less relevance, and if you think they had no insight, I disagree (but that would require detailed discussion).
>I am of the opinion, further, that the
>"science" of psychology is so much in its infancy that it barely
>deserves to be called such.
That attitude has always served me well.
>This is partly IMO because of institutional
>biases against the perceived philosophical, political, and dare I say
>religious implications of certain scientific facts, such as Darwinian
>So I rely very heavily on my own judgments, intuitions and experience.
That was my strategy that served me well.
>Some of what I say sounds consistent with the "orthodox" view; i.e.
>"Enlightenment is a shift in who one is from being an ego to being
>nothing-in-particular." But when I unpack what I mean, hopefully some
>surprises will come out of the box -- that would be a good sign that I'm
>thinking for myself and not being a parrot.
>You would do me a service by trying to listen to what I say in that
>spirit, and not being too quick to lump my views into one "camp" or
>another. Note, for instance, that while I'm not yet convinced of the
>efficacy of entheogen-use as a means to enlightenment
The efficacy depends on what definition of enlightenment you hold. Entheogens certainly are efficient for the definition of enlightenment I hold and advocate.
> (strictly, I might
>add, because of an apparent lack of evidence and from personal
>experience, as opposed to any bias against drug use),
Whether there is evidence depends first of all on the definition of enlightenment you hold.
>I'm not a
>"meditationist." In fact I'm formulating and testing my own method, a
>method which places very little emphasis on meditation. If I'm
>successful I should be enlightened any day now! :-D
You haven't said a word yet about what that method is.
>The question arises again: What do I mean by enlightenment? And why
>would I consider it a desirable attainment?
>Let me take another cut at the subject by defining what I consider the
>alternative -- endarkenment. "Normal" consciousness consists of
>enslavement to an unpleasant illusion. A "normal" person has a set of
>thoughts that he or she constantly refers to as his or her "self" -- a
>lump of stories, images, judgments, goals, desires, etc. Most of us are
>more or less unhappy with "who we are," which makes us neurotically
>preoccupied with the past and the future.
It sounds like you are setting up an assumption that knowing truly who one is necessarily eliminates all aspects of neurosis or self-conflict. I hold that there is only a partial connection; knowing who one is only eliminates certain aspects of neurosis -- it is no panacea.
>"I did such-and-such in the
>past. I'm happy/sad about it. I hope to/hope not to get to such-and-such
>place in the future." (Since "neurotic" is an important term for me,
>I'll define what I mean by it. "Neurotic", for me, means
>"unhappy/upset/anxious/fearful/angry about something that's not actually
>happening or has no reasonably real bearing on one's present or imminent
Self-control and personal management operates across time. It will always make good sense for good reasons that me-now is anxious about me-later. Some amount of anxiety is inherent in being a self-controlling agent. We can reasonably minimize anxiety, but it is impossible to eliminate or radically reduce it down to almost nothing. We can eliminate only some aspects of anxiety.
The anxiety-free enlightened person is a pie-in-the-sky ideal and I confidently predict that an attempt to be almost totally anxiety free will fail, except for a few odd individuals who happen to have an anxiety-free life and a low-anxiety constitution. I support your research and want to know the result, but this is a caution that you might fail, or your method might never pan out for most other people. Lots of self-help programs promise a radical reduction of anxiety, elimination of self-conflict.
>Furthermore, being social animals, most of us are
>neurotically preoccupied and anxious about our relationships with
>others. Our energy and attention is absorbed and monopolized by these
>preoccupations. Normal egoic consciousness, with apologies to Joyce, is
>a nightmare from which we ought to be trying to awake.
Do you think there are enlightened people who are almost totally free of worry about interpersonal relationships, and that there exists a method of becoming almost totally free of such worry?
>That we are "endarkened" can best be appreciated when one contrasts
>normal consciousness with the point of view of the "peak experience." I
>had my first such altered state at the age of 22. It was literally as
>if, up to that point, I had been wearing glasses that flattened
>everything and leached much of the color out of my perception. Upon
>"taking the glasses off," I was in absolute awe of how beautiful
>everything was; colors were brighter and objects were "more
>3-dimensional." I was also in Love with everyone and everything; talking
>to people filled me with ecstasy. I had much more energy than normal,
>but I wasn't manic -- on the contrary, I experienced a deeper peace and
>serenity than I had ever known.
>This experience passed, as all experiences must. By enlightenment, do I
>mean a permanent peak experience? No. I think an enlightened person
>would have ups and downs just like a regular person.
>between the peak experience and normal consciousness, however, does
>highlight just how dim, constrictive and downright hellish is that which
>we consider "normal."
>The key difference, IMO, between enlightened consciousness and regular
>consciousness is that an enlightened person is non-neurotic --
>_radically_ non-neurotic. Here are a few specific details of what that
>might look like:
I formed a type of enlightenment that causes certain dysfunctional aspects of thinking to be solved or cured -- I can cure some types or aspects of neurosis, but I am not able to cure all aspects or types of neurosis. Will you be able to promise that your method cures practically all your neurosis, or all of any normal person's neurosis? I doubt that anyone can deliver on that claim.
One semi-hypothetical bad guy for me is the privileged smug white person in the ruling class, who proclaims "you create your own reality", and feels that they have left behind neurosis -- can they say that when the chips are down?
Before enlightenment (as I define it), life is suffering; during the enlightenment process, life is even more suffering because of additional meta-suffering; after enlightenment, the mind returns to regular suffering -- now mitigated in certain respects by metaphysical enlightenment.
This is a Wattsian view. He was an alcoholic. Ozzy Osbourne is enlightened by my definition -- he is an alcoholic. From struggle combined with incomprehension, to struggle about struggle in addition to struggle, to struggle combined with comprehension.
It is possible that you could wrap yourself in a knot of frustration, and conclude that human life is inherently anxious, neurotic, and includes self-conflict; you could follow the same trajectory as me and reach the same sobered, skeptical, restricted view of enlightenment I have systematized.
I axiomatically assume that one cannot attain any enlightenment like you define without first passing through this door of basic full enlightenment of the type I have systematized, because it is about control dynamics that are quickly encountered in the entheogenic altered state, and those control dynamics are very relevant to any project of radical non-neurosis and non-self-conflict.
>1. Inner peace/radical absence of anxiety. Anxiety, as opposed to
>rational fear i.e. fight-or-flight response when someone is lunging at
>you with a knife, is IMO inherently neurotic.
If one enters loose cognition -- the intense mystic altered state -- one *is* fully vulnerable to control-seizure panic, with fight-or-flight reaction; here is where one can truly get religion, in a fight-or-flight panic reaction to onset of ego death, in which self-control is undermined by one's creatureliness with respect to the ground of being. This is a classic, orgasm-like potential of the mystic state, and is a doorway through which one must pass to explore loose cognition.
Any system of radical non-neurosis that lacks intimate acquaintance with this troublesome and awesome innate potential is a system of mundane self-help, not religious enlightenment.
My initial phase of discovering my core theory of transcedent knowledge was such a non-transcendent system of mundane self-help -- it was transcendent in certain respects, but then, regular run-of-the-mill self-help is also transcendent in certain respects -- that type of self-help that talks all about stopping self-conflict and stopping neurosis.
>Ordinary consciousness is
>saturated with anxiety, both gross and subtle; in fact, in my way of
>looking at things the ego is in a certain sense _created_ by anxiety.
Ego is central to the mind's control-system, and the control system inherently involves anxiety, before and after enlightenment as I define it. I provide comprehension of anxiety that takes some edge off anxiety, but I won't promise to basically get rid of anxiety.
>More on this in a later e-mail. An enlightened person's day-to-day
>consciousness would be deeply peaceful and free of free-floating anxiety
>to a degree we normal dysfunctional folks can only imagine.
That's an ideal, and circumstances might permit a few people during a few episodes of life to feel that way, and some people might constitutionally maintain that -- especially if they live a privileged or oblivious life. But there's no system of enlightenment that will basically eliminate anxiety to a very strong degree. Define 'deeply', 'free of', and 'degree we ... can only imagine'.
>2. Flow/Presence. In his book _Flow: The Psychology of Optimal
>Experience_ Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi distinguishes _Flow_ -- a state of
>consciousness in which time and the "self" disappears because we are so
>fully engaged in what we are doing. Most of us have experienced it -- it
>is the timeless and profoundly pleasurable state we may enter while
>skiing, playing a musical instrument, having sex, doing work we love or
>any other activity in which we are able to lose ourselves. I would
>expect an enlightened person to be remarkably "present" in everyday
>life, to such a degree that most of his or her waking moments would be
>spent in a state of "flow."
Sounds like regular self-help, which has high potential. We really need to discuss the overlap between self-help and enlightenment, and perhaps self-transcendence.
The dominant paradigm of enlightenment is very heavily based in the realm of self-help, so that there is a risk of reducing and distorting enlightenment to mundane self-help, producing extremely self-help-optimized healthy people, who may or may not be spiritually or metaphysically enlightened, or might not have experienced intense mystic insight.
You can characterize my recent efforts as tearing self-help away from metaphysical enlightenment, in order to make metaphysical enlightenment attainable. Self-help is like a weed that chokes and hides metaphysical enlightenment, resulting in self-help falsely labeled as self-transcendence. The popular conception of meditation completely intertwines self-help and self-transcendence, with the actual result being half-baked self-help and half-baked self-transcendence.
The solution is to integrate and differentiate the two realms, which are currently conflated. The current lack of differentiation between the areas of self-help and self-transcendence prevents self-transcendence. Enlightenment defined as self-transcendence is very easy and universally accessible with the optimal tools, which are entheogens and the compact set of concepts I've systematized.
Self-help (ideally the elimination of anxiety, neurosis, and self-conflict) is much more difficult than metaphysical enlightenment. There's certainly some relationship and overlap between the two areas. Separating out metaphysical enlightenment and obtaining it could well be considered a prerequisite for the harder problem of self-help/self-development (the elimination of anxiety, neurosis, and self-conflict).
>3. Radical spontaneity. Most people are, for the most part,
>anxiety-driven robots (whether they realize it or not, IMO). They spend
>most waking moments in a state of gross or subtle anxious reaction,
>either to something that happened in the past or worrying about
>something that might happen in the future. I would expect an enlightened
>person to be delightfully spontaneous and un-self-conscious, devoting
>the very minimum necessary time, effort or emotion to thinking about
>past and future.
That sounds unreal, idealistic, fantastic -- if pictured at some extreme degree. That goal is easy to say, and hard to accomplish to any real degree. Sure, if you are a majorly messed-up person, you can make huge improvements, but for ineliminable practical reasons, an active life requires spending a large amount of time, effort, and emotion to think about past and future.
Your description matches the very first ideas I encountered in the self-help and spirituality-book world. It sounds straight out of my early notebooks. You may be lucky and blessed with a less conflicted constitution than me, but I caution you that there is the possibility you could be heading off in the same direction of complete frustration I did. Don't be disappointed if you conclude that only a minor reduction in what you label 'neurosis' is possible.
If you want to bring it down 10%, you will likely succeed, but if you are committed to bringing it down 90%, I'm sure you'll end up in a tight knot of frustration. Your goal may be just plain unrealistic and unreal and unreasonable -- in fact unattainable. If you fail, it might be your fault in that you adhered to an incoherent, idealistic goal -- not your fault in the sense that your goal was reasonable but there's something neurotic about you, preventing you from reaching the supposedly reasonable goal.
This might not apply to you and your method, but it reflects the common experiences of some people. Self-help philosophy often causes an intensification of neurosis -- see the apostle Paul's statement of what I'd call revelation through frustration: he attempted with all his resources to attain full self-mastery and closely adhere to a defined method of conduct, but the harder he tried, the more frustrated he became.
After that, he had religious revelations. I am averting the possibility of you heading down that path at a slow pace, by fast-forwarding you. That path of frustration through revelation leads to my conclusions that one can only minimize anxiety to a degree, and can do so by transcendent insights about the inherently problematic aspects of personal self-control.
Now I'm confident you won't undergo several years of agonizing frustration, leading only slowly to the classic kind of enlightenment I'm systematizing. You're effectively starting out with the sober wisdom I've pulled together -- that life very likely for most people in most situations is inherently anxious and neurotic, due to the inherent nature of controllership in the real world, and the comprehending mind doesn't kill itself with self-blame over its inability to do away with a tangible amount of neurosis.
Be prepared to accept that a controller in the world can only reduce anxiety and neurosis to some limited degree, less than your ideal, which may be an unrealistic and naive ideal that lacks wisdom. I support your evident tentativeness, the tentativeness of your optimism. You seem to have a healthy tentativeness. Don't take success for granted; you don't in fact know for sure if your system will fly.
>4. Radical un-self-consciousness. Norma says:
> >I cannot say to another that the existence of life
> >is dependent on something external, alone, when I can not see a
> >an end, an outside or an inside.
>(Norma frequently talks, to my mind, the way an enlightened person might
If we grant that you are unenlightened, your estimate of what enlightenment is about and the way an enlightened person might talk might be completely wrong and require wholesale revision. A zillion spiritualists write in that standard mode of expression -- your current assessment of an enlightened way of talking would suggest that many, many people are enlightened.
It might be easy to tell (by my definition of enlightenment) whether someone is enlightened, through conversing online with them. I'd have to develop this idea. I'm just cautioning not to mistake some spiritual stylings and phrases for actual full transformation -- an analogy might be not to mistake a child for an adult online. I wonder how old poster's are -- it is possible to guess skilfully, but it's not easy and one must be ready to be completely mistaken.
My definition of enlightenment involves a conceptual component and experiential component; I hold that a most classic definition requires both together: knowing a particular set of concepts, including some advanced language skills, and also a series of experiences of those concepts. One could be enlightened conceptually but not experientially. Your definition would include lacking anxiety and writing in such a way that manifests lack of anxiety.
It could be tricky to assess whether a writer lacks anxiety. Also, a writer like me may lack a certain *type* of anxiety, and it may require splitting hairs to distinguish this. I'm basically unconcerned with what people think of me as a person -- it's irrelevant, so I may have sort of vestigial natural anxiety responses if someone criticizes me, but I don't take seriously that response; I effectively bracket it off.
I can always think of this as just text, not people -- that *flexibility* of response is an indication of certain kinds of transcendence. We can measure that. That's one deeply false thing about the common conception of enlightenment: it's an incredibly unreal, brittle, narrow, 1-dimensional response style. People think Jesus could only respond in one single way.
The Wattsian school holds the opposite: the enlightened mind is free and enjoys a broad, flexible range of responses. Popular spirituality is an extremely tight straightjacket -- self-help also is prone to become a straightjacket dead-set against real-world flexibility.
Ironically, in idealizing that "the enlightened person is free and spontaneous", that proves to be self-deception; everyone says Buddha is so enlightened, he is free and spontaneous -- but they then turn around and dictate that he only walk and talk in one narrow little way. If Buddha came to earth, the first thing people would say to him is "Hey, you can't do that! You're supposed to be enlightened! I'm so disappointed in you!"
People try to straightjacket me by saying I should be humble -- they think enlightenment means being a spineless pushover. They don't grasp the meaning of "free" and "spontaneous". The enlightened person has no obligation to be a certain way, in surface style -- that's basic existential theory.
People talk and talk about "free and spontaneous" living, and are offended to death when they actually come across it; this is a very common backfiring effect, like when in the name of freedom, people try to all dictate each other's actions.
>I would expect enlightenment to bring about the loss of a defined sense
>of "self," which would of course result in a lack of preoccupation with
>such a fictional entity.
The mind in the real world can get rid of certain limited aspects of preoccupation with the semi-fictional self. You grossly overestimate the degree to which a corrected conception of self results in elimination of "preoccupation" with oneself. Most enlightenment definition is extreme, ending up in sheer fantasy-land. Real world life demands being largely occupied with the concerns of the self.
Only escapism, living in a cave, can eliminate "preoccupation" with self to such a large degree. Scale back your ideals with a major reality check. Don't believe everything you read; consider that the ideals you hold and have picked up are grossly unrealistic in degree -- fine as hypothetical ideals, but not something to be taken too literally in degree.
>Heidegger says "a person is not a thing or a
>process, but an opening through which the Absolute can manifest." For an
(according to your definition)
>this would not be [merely] a pleasing intellectual concept
>but an ongoing, real presence beyond reflection or talking about, not a
>dramatic event but a "no big deal" aspect of everyday reality. An
>enlightened person would effortlessly and spontaneously be fully engaged
>in the given contents of present awareness, not preoccupied with mental
>chatter or inner "dress rehearsals" for future events.
I consider that a kind of mental training, not enlightenment. If that mode of mental conduct is ultra-valuable to you, you can likely attain it to a moderate degree. Don't berate yourself if it's harder and less possible that you wish, or if other people cannot efficiently use your method to attain this goal to any great degree.
>I could go on. Is there anything vague about what I'm describing?
When I began my reflective life, I held those same ideas. I wish everyone wrote as clearly, in as much detail, as you.
>Repeated glimpses of paradise provide cold comfort when one has to live
>in the dim dark cave of ordinary consciousness.
You may have to get used to it -- I wouldn't put down ordinary mundane consciousness too bad. You may find that besides metaphysical enlightenment as I'm systematizing, you may only be able to do a little spring cleaning and put up some fresh flowers and brighter art on the walls. If you are currently totally neurotic, you can make great gains, to a point, but much further gains may well be unrealistic wishful thinking.
>What good does it do to
>change one's "world model" if such a change has little impact on one's
>ordinary, day-to-day existence?
The mind moves from confusion and error to clarity and truth, on certain points. This eliminates certain specific dissonances, certain neuroses, certain self-conflicts. It's easy to promise more, and dream of more, but beyond a point, can one deliver on the promises? One can pursue "enlightenment as infinite relaxation" and attain it to some limited degree, limited by one's consitution and circumstances.
I make reduced promises for enlightenment and *deliver* on those promises -- this is finite but is no pie-in-the-sky fantasies about how the mind ought to work. I advise studying my systematization of classic enlightenment, and being ready to scale back your ideals for your conception of enlightenment.
>Also: you deride the idea of a permanent altered state. Why? What's so
>sacred about our normal state?
It's too broad to say that I deride it. It would be desirable to have a DMT state of cognition on demand, at any intensity, but there is no basis for thinking that to be possible or easily achievable for typical people. There is good reason to assume that for most people, their mind is designed to return to the default state, which is a natural fit for mundane daily life.
People have overemphasized enlightenment as including an altered state so much, that they fail to gain the type of enlightenment that is certain and ergonomically accessible to typical people. They run off chasing ideals or hypothetical possibilities, without attaining the proven attainable goals and levels of consciousness that are our certain potential inheritance.
Wishful and idealistic enlightenment, versus sure and certain enlightenment -- popular definition/goal vs. my definition/goal. I don't doubt that you can attain *some* reduction in neurosis, but I doubt you can meet your pure ideals in the real world, to such a great degree as you casually assume is possible and unproblematic. And if you can, I still doubt that your method will work for typical people in real life. Can your ideals pass the general reality test?
[As a sidebar, I'm surprised you have
>expressed, unless I missed something, no interest in psychobiology.com
>and David Pearce's Hedonistic Imperative.
Most likely, I'd have a "been there, done that, didn't amount to much, it was ok back in that era" reaction. For example, Extropians and Mondo 2000 -- yeah, fine, ok. I just glance that that stuff now. The book TechGnosis already provides everything of value like that. My core theory has been settled for years, and lately I've been mapping it to particular existing historical religions and philosophies -- not to purely contemporary approaches.
I did the pomo-cybertech hipster thing to death, took the most valuable parts, and have reached the point of diminishing returns from that direction. I skim books like biology of transcendence and find little additional value. I have plenty of unread books like that. Mystery religion has been a more profitable puzzle lately, for more progress/change per day.
People want me to cover contemporary theories, domains, and approaches, but I've already more than covered it, in that I've engineered the core theory, the cybernetic theory of ego transcendence. That's way more than enough. It has been time to connect this born-in-the-cyber-age theory to some things other than the cyberage.
>You two would seem to have a
>lot to talk about. More about Pearce's position, which provides an
>interesting counterpoint, later.]
I would value your pointing out particular points.
>The peak experiences and
>"enlightenment-like" experiences I've had did indeed remind somewhat of
>being on LSD, in the sense that they conferred a sense of hyperreality,
>but they were blissfully free of any sense of "drugginess."
Sounds like a mild salvia altered state.
> I wasn't
>impaired; my ability to function was in fact greatly heightened. Again,
>I don't mean to imply that enlightenment is like a permanent peak
>experience. I merely believe these experience give us glimpses, in
>something like the way drug experiences do, of other possible modes of
My systematic theory is only concerned with two modes of consciousness, characterized by tight and loose binding of mental construct matrixes. I'm skeptical about the attainability and relevance of altered states other than essentially what would be the internally released DMT state. I'm very selective about which directions I speculate in. I'm wholly focused on constructing the simplest possible model of enlightenment, something that everyone can surely attain.
>This e-mail was about clarifying the _goal_, which, for me, is a
>more-or-less permanently altered state of consciousness which would
>include the characteristics I've described above. I've had some
>incremental experiences that make me hopeful and optimistic that such a
>permanently altered state is possible, and that I am on the right track.
>I'll describe some ideas about the structure of consciousness, what
>keeps us "locked in" to ordinary, neurotic consciousness, why this state
>seems so intractable, and how I propose to break through it, in another
I'm interested in the dynamics of breakthrough, and breakthrough past a seemingly intractible state. Homeostatic state shift.