What is the most immediate and convenient way to gain a specific kind of enlightenment and a certain kind of ultimate religious experience?
o Print and read the overview of the cybernetic theory of ego transcendence at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/egodeath/message/1
o Browse the rest of the http://www.egodeath.com site, and this discussion group.
o Read the overview summary again while in the loose-cognition mode through the traditional, natural use of entheogens.
o Read other books about the entheogenic origin of religions, and philosophy overview books.
>If your theory of ego death is "true," so what?
Nothing. That's an existential question. What is the purpose of the universe?
If it is true, this means that when rational technical people attempt to use entheogens for various purposes, they will run headlong into the issues I've mapped out, sooner or later, and having this mature map readily available will help them make sense out of the limitations of self-control they run into when trying to explore and utilize the loose-cognition state for various purposes.
>What does your theory offer one?
The most amazing experience and insight
The feeling of cancellation of moral responsibility
An ultimate religious experience
An intellectually satisfying solution to ancient questions of determinism.
A map of some of the most amazing and surprising ideas and mental dynamics to be found in the loose-cognition state, to quickly make sense of what is found there.
Beyond these sorts of things, the theory offers nothing. No world peace, just a temporary spiritual orgasm of revelation when the entheogen is combined with the set of principles I've gathered.
Ask the philosophers and spiritualists and entheogenists whose ideas I have gathered -- what does any such theory offer anyone? Lately, I've increased my commitment toward drug policy reform to enable people to *experience* the intellectual principles in a way that packs a punch.
This "theory" is really now a two-part system that combines a theoretical world-model with a particular cognitive state (loose cognition), in the most ergonomic and convenient way possible.
Laboriously climbing mountains is not a goal for me or the system I'm building. The goal is to bring people immediately and conveniently to the top. Other systems adopt the goal of loving the path, the labor of the climb. That's not a goal for me. I just want to pop people to the top of this mountain directly, instantly, and effortlessly -- the lightning path, in a lightning vehicle.
The loose-cognition state by itself cannot achieve this, and theory by itself cannot achieve this. Only a *designed* and integrated system of theory and entheogen technique can come together to form a reliable and convenient lightning-vehicle.
>What can one gain from studying this theory or experiencing this type of ego-death?
Nothing except an experience and point of view. Humility has nothing to do with it, tranquility is an alien goal, and world peace is not particularly associated with such a system of ergonomic enlightenment.
If you seek peace and joy, a certain kind may come from this system, but it's not really motivated by commonly conceived spiritual peace and joy, so much as the wish to find the peace and joy of intellectual integrity.
>If I am living my entire life with my own thoughts about what kind of control I have or don't have, what difference does it make if I start thinking of it in the terms of the way you put it?
My first, knee-jerk answer is, it doesn't make any difference at all. The enlightened man lives just the same as anyone, chopping wood and carrying water -- radically ordinary. This even raises painful existential questions, as addressed in the end of the acid-rock album Caress of Steel.
For people who have questions, who have been filled with wonder and conflict about self-control and religious experience, the theory and technique contains definite answers, easily conveyed with plain language and utterly straightforward and immediate techniques.
So you have conquered Earth's highest mountain -- but so what? So what. What is existence or enlightenment or anything for? What difference does *anything* make? What difference does bliss, peace, certainty, or victory mean, and what use are they? What difference do they make?
>What does it give me and how is that beneficial, such that one would desire to follow through with the program you set forth?
The program I set forth is nothing more than spending some hours reading and spending some sessions in the loose-cognition state, reflecting upon the principles of the theory and encountering the control vortex and the fatal problem of self-control.
It would be possible to run a series of a few weekend retreats, but group activities are not necessarily the best way to explore the concepts. A short college course with loosecog field trips would be more than adequate.
Like some of the commoditized personal development retreats, I emphasize convenience first of all. If a programme of self-development is not ultra-convenient, forget it -- a non-convenient system would be a false, never-ending, never-fulfilling system. Either it's nearly immediate, or never-ending and never succeeding.
It is hard to describe how trivial and simple and un-special such a system is. I aim to pull spirituality down off its pedestal. My only audience who understands this is the androids. I want enlightenment packaged as merely a $10 shareware program freely downloadable -- any more complex and valued system is a never-reachable fantasy that revels in the chase.
I don't want to cut to the chase, but eliminate it completely. If I wrote a novel, it would only have the last page. This is the only system that cannot be called a "path" -- it's pure destination. So it's not a "programme" so much as an immediately learnable idea that is meant to be combined with the loose-cognition state.
>I apologize in advance for not reading over your site, I find that I often don't have time for long bouts of reading on the internet and that, even when I do, it often makes me eyes hurt and/or gives me a headache.
It is my fault for providing too much information, too many details such that you cannot see the simple single tree in the middle. My concept for the site is a pyramid where you start with a perfect 1-page summary at the top, then delve into details as you like.
However, I find that I prefer spending my time expanding the scope of my knowledge rather than polishing the site. The comprehensive summary I've written is really not that bad.
What I recommend that people do is print and read carefully the overview, and browse the rest of the site, and then read the overview again while in the loose-cognition mode through the traditional, natural use of entheogens. And it would be good to read other books about the entheogenic origin of religions, and philosophy overview books. I want to list and review my favorite 25 books at the site.
I might never clean up the site or publish an impressive scholarly work, but people need a short introductory comic book, above all -- combined with loose cognition.
My ultimate criticism of philosophy is that it lacks the entheogen, the ability to trigger interesting and vivid experience. My ultimate criticism of drug-free meditation is that it is *inconvenient* as a method for producing intense experience.
I am engineering the *most convenient* method for producing intense intellectual experience. I am more like writing a compact computer program to better express the ancient insights, rather than writing a book or creating a new spiritual tradition.
All this large quantity of writing I have to do is just unfortunate; eventually it should all be compacted into a short article, comic book, or learning module.
What is the most immediate and convenient way to gain a specific kind of enlightenment and a certain kind of ultimate religious experience?
o Print and read the overview of the cybernetic theory of ego transcendence at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/egodeath/message/1
o Browse the rest of the http://www.egodeath.com site, and this discussion group.
o Read the overview summary again while in the loose-cognition mode through the traditional, natural use of entheogens.
o Read other books about the entheogenic origin of religions, and philosophy overview books.
>>So, where do you go from here?
Ergonomically systematize and package the set of simple principles and define how to use them with loose cognition. Create a simple quick guide that straightforwardly teaches the systematic principles of transcendent knowledge.
>>What does this knowledge give you? What do you gain?
Transcendent knowledge, which is a more accurate and coherent and refined mental worldmodel than the egoic worldmodel.
>>Is your life any easier than the milk man who has no cognitive awareness of such things as a block-universe, loose cognition, or even ego death?
Cognitive dissonance specifically regarding the intellectual understanding of time, will, self, and control is removed or greatly lessened. One might remain an alcoholic or controlaholic, but now, one degree more comfortable by understanding why self-control is inherently less securable than the idealistic posi-control which self-help seminars promise as panacea.
>>If you are in a 'loose cognition' state you are able to receive information easier.
The mind is able to reconceive mental construct networks easier and revise them more deeply than in the default state of tight cognition (tight cognitive-association binding).
>>Are you looking to take this information and create a new human consciousness?
It is not new consciousness; it is newly *systematized* consciousness. Scholars only know a fraction of what has been written, but as far as we know or I know, this model is the clearest that the dynamics of ego death and ego transcendence has ever been systematized.
>>Are you offering this information just for those who have ears to hear?
A top priority is to prove that the main, most important and profound aspects of enlightenment are very simple and are easy to deeply experience, grasp, and comprehend, despite what practically all theorists and spiritualists maintain.
Rather than taking an attitude of proving this model to skeptics, the best approach is to clarify what the model is, as clearly and simply as possible, and let those who are so inclined use their own judgement. I intend to define a practical framework which anyone is able to do research within if they are so inclined.
>>What can you do with this information?
Jump to a more coherent understanding of the relationship of self, time, world, will, and control. Experience some of the very most stunning experiences. Enhance the whole of life by adding a different perspective on the scope of life and on daily life.
>>How can this information be translated into "daily life" and not turn out to be some hobby [particular activity bounded in duration] that is an externality of the libido.
How can any one component of a full life be translated into ongoing day-to-day life? How can the moon shot be so translated into daily life? How do moments of climax become translated into daily life? What is the relationship between any special or unique time-bounded experience, versus daily life? How can the experience of going to an exotic country be translated into daily life -- what is our philosophical explanation about that?
Touring a foreign land must be irrelevant to daily life, by some measure, and contributes to daily life in some doubtful, debatable, nebulous sense: "Visiting Timbuktu enhances your scope of what human existence is all about," so they claim. How does playing a video game enhance day-to-day life? If you can tell me how you explain that, then you can tell me just as well how transcendent knowledge has any relevance to non-mystical daily life.
It is false that the only possible way for a particular time-bounded experience to have any value is if that finite experience is infinitely woven, clearly and strongly, all throughout daily life. Life comprises differentiated compartments that have only partial overlap or cross-influence. It is demanding an impossibility if we insist that spirituality be fully present in the fullness of its potency during every moment of ongoing life.
The only sense in which that can practically happen, for ordinary people living in the real world, is if we falsely shrink the stature of the mystic realm to attempt to force it into a shape which it does not in fact have, together with distorting the reality of daily life into a shape which it does not have and will not have, in the practical real world of real people.
You can artificially daydream about so elevating day-to-day life that it expands to fit the shape of the full-on mystic realm, but it is not going to happen, not for real people living in the real constraints of the real world. In practice, the mystic realm has one scope and shape, and the realm of daily life has a different, only partly overlapping, scope and shape. The most awe-inspiring aspects of the mystic realm cannot and will not fit into the scope of ongoing daily life.
If you then disparage and discard those aspects of the mystic realm which stubbornly refuse to submit to your preconceptions -- which refuse to be shrunken and distorted to fit a mold of some idealized glorified daily life -- that can only lead to delusion about the scope of the mystic realm and of daily life. It is a distortion of sex and of daily life to try to force sex and daily life to be the same thing. Daily life cannot be, as Freud would have it, all about sex.
Daily life has many aspects, many of which have some, limited, relation to various realms of experiencing. It is a form of reduction -- distortion -- to try to define daily life wholly in terms of any one realm -- sex, mysticism, virtual reality environments, sports, and so on. Daily life is inspired by *many* realms of temporally-bound experiencing, but daily life is not wholly inspired by any one particular realm of temporally-bound experiencing which daily life comprises.
You can't really get anywhere without understanding the idea of differentiation of departments of life or of knowledge, such as in Ken Wilber's Integral Theory, or my equivalent, domain dynamics. Many profound aspects of the mystic realm utterly elude all or most of daily life. The most spiritual and enlightened and elevated daily life is not the same as the distinctive aspects of the realm of mystic experiencing.
It makes no sense -- it's a totally incoherent idea -- to judge the value of any temporally-bound realm of specialized experiencing in terms of its effect on ongoing daily life. If you assert that sexual climax totally transforms every aspect of ongoing daily life, you've put forth a distorted conception of both sexual climax and daily life.
When you force two partially overlapping areas to be a single undifferentiated area, this is not integration; it's distortion and reduction, which attempts to declare as unreal those aspects of the two realms that don't overlap and cannot overlap. You cannot fit all of the mystic realm into the realm of daily life: it does not and will not fit; those aspects of the mystic realm can only have a nebulous and remote influence on daily life.
For the enlightened mind, the experience of chopping wood and carrying water is not entirely elevated and transformed, and to demand that it be so, is to demand an impossibility, which involves distorting both the nature of daily life and of the mystic realm, claiming that daily life can be something it cannot be, and claiming that the mystic can be fit into a shape it cannot be fit into.
Popular spirituality has crudely overoptimistic hopes for the degree to which the mystic realm can change daily life. A weepy depressed disappointment is the certain outcome. Enlightenment is the greatest disappointment in the world, for the egoic expectations of what can be gained from enlightenment.
Beware of the egoic conception of ego transcendence, which, through wishful thinking and preconceived ideas, demands of life and enlightenment things that life cannot give and that enlightenment cannot be. The most awesome aspects of enlightenment inherently reach beyond the realm that daily life can encompass, and that reaching beyond is much of how the mystic realm adds value to the whole of life.
The whole of life cannot be equated with daily life, because the whole of life includes daily life and includes many different realms of experiencing that don't and cannot and will not occur in daily life, as far as all real-world evidence indicates.
It is pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking, without any real evidential basis whatsoever, and at the extreme a denial of reality, to assert that daily life can be elevated to the heights of profundity and intensity that the transcendent mystic realm has. Some of the mystic realm can have some degree of effect on some aspects of life, but for actual people, the mystic realm has always had a partial overlap with daily life -- not no overlap, and not an entire identity, but a *partial* overlap.
The answer to "What use is enlightenment for daily life?" is "What use is daily life for enlightenment?" What use is any part of life, to a distinct, only partially overlapping, other part of life? The mystic realm in fact does not slavishly serve and conform to the standards on ongoing daily life, no matter how elevated one tries to make ongoing daily life.
The mystic realm in its most definitive and distinctive form is a climax of experiencing, while daily life has never been such a climax. Shall we then banish that climax, or falsely and jealously declare it to not exist? One ought to align oneself with the diverse *whole* of life -- per Integral Theory -- rather than with some limited subset, which is ongoing daily life with all the particular realms removed.
Here is an easy question: What does the transcendent mystic realm have to do with the whole of life? It contributes much of the most valuable and distinctive; that realm comprises a great range of spectacular potentials that are often noteworthy and valuable because of their difference from anything that would be practical for daily life. Since when is the daily the measure of the whole entirety?
People are applying harsh and unrealistic demands to the mystic, that they would never apply to any other realm. Since when is the hardly mystical daily realm the standard of measure to which the mystical peaks must conform? To insist upon such conformity is to speak untruth about the real, practical potential of daily life and about the scope and applicability and utility of the mystic peaks.
The utility of those aspects of the mystic realm that refuse to just serve the ongoing daily realm, is that they provide metaphysical enlightenment, open up a vast realm of potential experiencing, and shine light on daily life in various ways, to various extents.
Insofar as pop meditation religion doesn't open up these nonordinary realms, these realms that escape the potential scope of daily life, such meditation-religion has its limits and does not define the limits of what religion has to contribute to the whole of life. The whole of life cannot be truly reduced to daily life; there are real, practical limits to how much daily life can be transformed and elevated.
Parts of the mystic realm will experientially tower over daily life, separate and distinct from daily life, remotely and intangibly giving perspective on daily life without clearly changing and transforming daily life. In practical reality, talking about actual people and not wishful-thinking ideals and expectations, the most elevated daily life in the world does not reach into the depth of profound value that the mystic realm brings to the whole of life.
Parts of the mystic realm are, by any reasonable measure, higher than and distinct from, the most elevated ongoing daily life. There is no evidence to the contrary -- only idealistic wishful thinking, that ends up decapitating the mystic realm out of envy because the daily cannot succeed at its wish to contain the mystic peaks.
It is actually easy to create a systematic, straightforwardly intelligible, ergonomically communicable model of ego death and ego transcendence that explains the main part of such a kind of mystic transcendence experiential realm.
>>You're interested in creating exhilarating experiences and not concerned so much with the rest of life.
People can't easily get ahold of peak experiences because we try to blend mundane life and religious experience too much. It is a dogma of our time that religious experience should be measured in terms of how it affects everyday life. But everyday life is just everyday life, and religious experience is set apart by its elevation or radical otherness compared to mundane life. We might be able to mix these, but first we need to gain religious experience, before we can integrate it.
If your goal is peace in everyday life, that is one kind of spiritual goal. I am working on the opposite kind of spiritual goal -- how to provide a radically discontinuous and set-apart transcendent experience that contrasts against everyday life.
>>Something like cybernetically revised The Psychedelic Experience.
>I'm positive that Wilber is underestimating the value of entheogens in his theory
Remember, he is a moving target. He underestimated entheogens in past years, but he may be caught up by now.
>>but I think you are underestimating the real importance of meditation: loving-kindness, compassion, etc.
It is debatable whether loving-kindness and compassion are "the real importance" of meditation. You are free to draw that association, but don't be surprised if I disown that "spiritual path" and its goal.
You may be affirming that drug-free meditation is in fact associated with a type of spirituality that is concerned mainly with such common values as loving-kindness and compassion. I would warn with Wilber overtones, however, that such a spirituality is purely translative and not transformative. It doesn't blow your mind or lead to a sudden discontinuous re-penting, a transformation of thinking.
I am interested in a sudden deep transformation from one definite particular worldmodel to another -- a perfectly specific and clear transformation, as opposed to the hazy feeling-oriented kind of "growth" and "spiritual insight" as embraced by the popular meditation-oriented type of spirituality.
The latter belongs to the world of the ego and the egoic world-model; it is a spirituality that soothes and reinforces the egoic delusion, at least in many ways. It is a mere translative kind of spirituality. It is valuable, but of lesser stature than the radical lightning-transformation discontinuous revelation of the traditional, natural technology of entheogenic mystery-religion such as I am mapping out.
There are two kinds of spirituality: the common kind that overflows from the newage bookstores, and the radical kind that I portray as an intellectual revolution that kills ego instantly dead in a certain way. These are largely independent types of spirituality.
There are a million people already travelling on the broad path of loving-kindness meditation-oriented religion. I am not terribly concerned with them. I'm working on the gap, the *other* kind of spirituality, which provides a short and vertical path to instant revelation, and sits in discontinuous contrast with the daily life in which we are enmeshed.
>If the feeling for others is not there, then meditation, yoga, you name it, seem all to be quite the same experience-hunting and your method just might be the best of them. I don't think Wilber talks that much about nirvana. Who cares about "nirvana". It's so out of this world anyway.
Wilber talks about the ultimate state of consciousness. And he has written so much, I really hesitate to assess his view on nirvana.
He and I emphasize entirely different things. We don't necessarily disagree on particulars, though our world-models do in some way disagree. We disagree on what is important and what methods are most practical and effective, and what the goals are -- or what the goal of religious experience is really all about. It will take more work to pin down the exact points of dispute.
>Better Living Through Blotters.
What ideas do different traditions promote as constituting "better living"? What is "better" -- the worldview of meditation-based feeling-based spirituality, or entheogen-based intellectual spirituality? Both of these combinations I contrast as extreme opposites may have some pro's and con's.
Entheogen-based intellectual spirituality can have totally specific and achievable goals -- it doesn't promise world peace, but it does deliver immediately and directly what it advertises, unlike meditation, which, by many measures, fails to deliver on its promises.
I work on reigning in the promises and providing fast delivery on the few remaining promises, with instant gratification of the desire to experience a sudden mental world-model transformation and a kind of complete ego-death experience together with a map that captures and rationally explains the insights that are encountered.
It is crucially important work to describe these promises and defining and differentiate a "new" set of goals and methods. It is of utmost importance to define how this approach to religious experiencing stands apart from the accustomed approaches and worldviews.
That's the only way an alternative approach can be viably sustained -- by being understood as distinct from other approaches. This is like the challenge of a mind constructing a separate ego to differentiate the person from the environment. As the ego must in a sense "reject" the environment as not-me, a rational entheogen-based religious metaphysical philosophy must "reject" all accustomed spirituality, to stand out as being truly an alternative with its own distinct presence.
1) dealing with these discussions concerning mind/consciousness expansion and what is termed ego-death, what is the primary function of these debates?
To formulate an explicit, rational, specific, simple theory of the ego death and recovery experience.
>2) what does the term/concept 'ego-death' truly signify?
The end of the dominance of a mental worldmodel that assumes oneself is an absolute creator of one's thoughts, actions, future, and movement of will. The main components of the mental model that transform are the concepts of time, self, control, and will. A large network of concepts is transformed all together.
>3) what does the ego represent in terms of the mind?
The sense of being a metaphysically free, sovereign agent that controls and truly originates one's thoughts and actions.
>4) what is the ultimate goal aspired to by the death of the ego?
Greater integrity and coherence of one's mental worldmodel, especially with regards to oneself as a controller moving through time. This might or might not lead to a more balanced life or positive mood. I consider mental worldmodel integrity to be a self-existing goal in itself. The goal is also to experience the most intense and amazing experience people have encountered. See the earliest threads in this discussion group for more information about what a theory of ego death is good for.
>>If "understanding" all of this is the goal or desire then peace remains out of reach as the person living with desire is never happy and peaceful. Satisfaction is when the desire is gone. It ends up that the only peaceful goal is to be psychologically free from goals. That only happens when it is understood that it is enough to be. No one in our society has ever been brought up with the sense that it is enough that they simply are! Quite the opposite.
Understanding is my goal, and I'm achieving that. I adhere to goals, and intend to be. I'm stressed, and that's inherent in goal seeking. I am at peace. I used to seek peace, and couldn't find it -- I hoped for peace and eliminating cognitive dissonance by gaining self-mastery. Now I seek to formally polish and publish my understanding of transcendence, and no longer strive much for self-mastery and peace.
There is no particular reason why we should adopt peace or lack of desire as a goal. We are existentially free to choose our goals. You assume too much, without justification, about the purpose of religious experiencing and spirituality.
Many people consider the ultimate goal and highest value of human life to be experiencing ego death, rebirth, and ego transcendence. I systematize ego death, but it is debatable that experiencing or understanding ego death is inherently our ultimate goal. Different people adopt different goals. We can theorize with Wilber and the mystics that people's real goal, unbeknownst to them, is realizing oneness, and all their other activities are frustrating substitutes -- but that is debatable.
Ego death certainly can be considered an ultimate goal for the egoic mind, as the cross was the ultimate goal or fate lying ahead for the earthly Jesus. Ego, when developed to fulfilment, leads to its own self-traitorship. The self-control power, when developed fully, is destined to cancel itself out. Egoic control power is a trap set for itself (Watts).
In that sense, the "real goal" of the egoic mind is ego death and ego transcendence. But I usually talk instead of ego death as being "an inherent potential" of the egoic mind, rather than saying that ego death is the real goal of the egoic mind.
Conventional spirituality assumes, without proper debate, that the purpose of spirituality is peace of mind. I'd say that enlightenment does lead to peace of mind if one is vexed with the task of gaining self-control while holding a confused model of self-control. In my experience, experiencing and understanding ego death and ego transcendence is overwhelmingly more signifant than the relatively petty and trite goal of achieving peace of mind. Peace of mind is not on my list of goals, though it was, way back when I was struggling to make rational sense of Watt's The Way of Zen.
In the most significant sense, I achieved deep peace of mind when I discovered that his book made sense by adopting a block-universe model into which one's self-control stream is timelessly frozen. On the mundane level, my mind is often full of stress rather than peace, but on the deep level, upon the joyful intellectual discovery of a coherent solution in January 11, 1988, I attained cognitive coherence and a peace of mind in a deep sense. Then I began work on connecting that space-time-control model to Christianity, which presented various cognitive dissonances and challenges, but did not cancel my deep rest.
In fact, as the revelation of how to connect my core theory with Christianity was exploding through my mind all during the day of November 14, 2001, that day and that week were extremely stressful and vexing, presenting challenges to my self-management and throwing a wrench in my scheduled plans.
Yet on the deep level, I retained a certain kind of peace. In the end, the notion of peace of mind is a little too simplistic, as are most self-help and positive-thinking books; they wilt in the face of reality. Watts covers the pattern of stress buildup and release in satori, in his book. But he does not simply assume that peace is the goal and purpose of enlightenment -- he often assaults and demolishes that conventional assumption.
The enlightened mind may have peace or may be in conflict with itself, but it doesn't add an additional layer of dissonance about its dissonance. If you construct a more paradoxical view of peace of mind, as being peace about stress, sometimes there will be peace and sometimes stress, but not an additional layer added by the dream of being spiritually peaceful all the time. Watts emphasizes that the enlightened man screams without hesitation as he is stabbed through; the enlightened monk sits feeling sorry for himself and does not add an additional layer of stress about the fact of his imperfect condition.
Enlightenment is not simply about being in peace all the time, or about acting humble all the time, or acting spiritual all the time. Those are all misleading common notions and assumptions.
Enlightenment is about seeing and understanding the way in which ego is an illusion. Those other goals are mundane self-help. Don't confuse enlightenment with mere banal self-help. Enlightenment is sacred, lofty, ultimate, and elevated, and is independent of such petty details as mood and style of personality.
Enlightenment is not a lifestyle or code of conduct, though those who lack enlightenment assume it to be all these mundane things. We talk of esoteric versus exoteric Christianity, esoteric versus popular Buddhism. The same must be true with spirituality in general: there is esoteric spirituality, and exoteric spirituality. People assume that spirituality is about the goals and purposes of exoteric spirituality -- smiling and floating along in life. Esoteric spirituality is not really about smiling and floating along in life -- it's about understanding and experiencing transcendent knowledge. Esoteric spirituality is not a lifestyle, personality style, code of conduct, or system of self-deprecating politeness.
Before I sought enlightenment, I was an ordinary man. While seeking enlightenment, I had a halo, and birds would leave flowers where I walked. Now I no longer have a halo, and the animals no longer pay me any particular attention.
I used to have no opinion about my peace or dissonance of mind. Then I had great dissonance about my dissonance of mind. Now I no longer have a preference about my peace or dissonance of mind. This pattern of meta-dissonance and stress about self-control, leading to a revelatory release, is found in Paul the Apostle, Augustine, and Luther.
Prostitute becomes virgin via Christ creation.
Rebirth implies holy family
thorn crown (around head or heart)
heart stabbed in woman
heart with cross and thorns
Xns do sacrifice and eat babies!
Sacrifice your firstborn to Moloch!
Taste of my oral teaching
Acid dissolves sin, acid is Christ's flesh, HS as acid dissolving sin and blindness -- Dissolve your firstborn child in acid to be saved. Dissolve the old self. Throw your demon in vat acid, cast down into, throw acid on your witch.
Mystery Mother Mary is God. Literalist Mother Mary is Anti-Christ.
Initiate is whole cast/family
Paul the runt - homunculus
Stiff wavy snake - frozen worldline
Exodus from Chaos-monster
Jesus was actually a theorist of entheogenic deterministic self-ctrl cybics.
Higher/bigger creature over lower/smaller - tho ower must sac'd, lower acts as causer/giver/ bringer/ parent of salvation.
Critique the "You/we are really consciousness" idea of Freke/Gandy. (What does "you" or "we" point to? Sure, consciousness *exists*, but where does or should the "you" come in? Ego slips in...)
The theory of enlightenment I've pulled together has no more "limitation" than metaphysical enlightenment itself has "limitations". People treat the theory like a universal panacea and Rorsatch test: whatever they feel they need, lack, want, and wish for, they ask -- and demand -- that metaphysical enlightenment provide it.
They, while asserting they are unenlightened, nevertheless dictate how enlightenment must be defined as providing everything they wish it be and assume ahead of time that it must be. Any version of enlightenment that fails to provide their expected goods, they judge as not adequate, not acceptable as enlightenment.
"Everyone knows" that, by definition, enlightened people float about and never know dissonance. Any particular system of enlightenment fails to make people float about, and fails to forget all dissonance, therefore, all particular systems are deemed to be inadequate and too-limited systems of enlightenment.
How should 'enlightenment' be defined? What are the main kinds of 'enlightenment' that ought to be differentiated?
A. The emancipation from oppression by religious authorities around 1750.
B. Foggy New Age spiritual enlightenment that puts a misty glow on everything you do during the day ("stinking of Zen", per Alan Watts).
C. Metaphysical enlightenment about the relation between time, self, will, agents, and control.
The cybernetic theory of ego death addresses 'enlightenment' of type C. Unless I specify otherwise, when I write 'enlightenment', I mean metaphysical enlightenment as opposed to New Age spiritual enlightenment or early-modern political enlightenment.
How should a theoretical model and embodiment of enlightenment be judged, for whether it is adequate and ideal as a model of enlightenment? The model should be concise, clear, specific, distinct, simple, elegant, summarizable, and comprehensive in coverage of all essentials. It should be theoretically integrated with methods of nonordinary experiencing.
Does metaphysical enlightenment have anything at all to do with improving daily life? If so, what is the extent of this relationship?
Enlightenment has some limited ability to improve daily life, but the assumed extent of overlap has been blown out of all reasonable proportion. Metaphysical enlightenment provides only a fraction of the ideas and habits that are required for the special topic or special skill of improving day-to-day life.
In what sense is enlightenment 'limited'?
Enlightenment provides a *coherent understanding* of self, time, control, will, and agency; it does *not* provide direct *power* over these things.
What practical benefits are to be expected and demanded from spiritual enlightenment? I have had people literally tell me that they take it for granted that enlightenment provides one of the following:
Making all moments of daily life glow, uplifted with spiritual infusion -- this is the standard New Age spirituality notion, a project which many agree upon and expect from enlightenment because... because many people agree and expect it.
World peace -- per the mystic metaphor in Revelation; after the great cosmic uncovering, all will be peaceful, lion laying down with lamb, no more sorrows.
The end to sadness and depression -- "obviously", if one is enlightened, one would be happy and in bliss all the time.
Ending the WOD -- the tree of knowledge will be open for business on every street corner of heaven, as it plainly says in Revelation
Ending oppression -- "obviously", becoming spiritually enlightened will make everyone be nice to each other, and no one will want to take coercive advantage of anyone else any more.
Giving self-integrity of personal self-management -- "obviously", understanding transcendent knowledge of self-controllership and personal control agency will give a person complete control over their will and self-control thoughts.
Radically eliminating all mental, cognitive dissonance -- "obviously", once you are enlightened, you'll no longer experience any cognitive dissonance of any sort; everything will go fine and nice in your life and in your experience; you'll never be in a bad mood again.
Financial wealth -- "obviously", being enlightened brings self-mastery, which strongly correlates with wealth.
Ability to create gold
Magically commanding the spirits to provide gold, influence, power
Pious worshipping of God, giving glory to God
Eliminating all egotistical egoism -- "obviously", one who transcends the ego is completely humble and self-deprecating, by definition; any thing otherwise is of course unthinkable and a self-contradiction.
Eternal, immortal life -- since aging is caused by cognitive dissonance, and being enlightened means you have no cognitive dissonance any more, enlightenment naturally results in cessation of aging.
Eternal youth -- someone assures me that the secret of alchemy is that eating gold makes you live forever without aging
Prophetic ability to predict the future -- someone in the discussion group assumed that the mystic experience of timelessness would "of course" give the ability to see the future; "obviously", seeing timelessness is seeing all time, "by definition".
They mistake the transcendent Good for infinite goods.
The specific enlightenment is the achievable enlightenment that is guaranteed to deliver its promised benefits. Generally, enlightenment does not provide anything but enlightenment. The benefit of getting metaphysical enlightenment is that you get metaphysical enlightenment, which can be used for having metaphysical enlightenment.
In terms of the Christian myth-religion, the purpose of regeneration and salvation is giving glory to God and gaining imperishable and mature, perfected, completed life.
Enlightenment does not bring world peace, despite Revelation; rather, in Revelation, world peace is used as a metaphorical description of events from the mystic state.
Enlightenment does not add a magic glow to all you do in daily life; it merely removes one type of cognitive dissonance. This localized and limited correction of one's mental worldmodel can be *combined* with *other* improvements of thought and life that are *distinct from* enlightenment proper. To enhance day-to-day life, use broad-sense "enlightenment", which is a mix of narrow-sense metaphysical enlightenment with *other* elements of self-improvement.
But metaphysical enlightenment, though blendable and integratable with other facets or areas of self-improvement, remains distinct and differentiated.
Enlightenment is not a panacea; for a thousand achievements other than corrected understanding of self-controllership, enlightenment by itself is not sufficient; enlightenment *itself* has boundaries and limitations, just as any tool and area of life has boundaries and limitations.
The demands and expectations everyone has piled sky-high on top of enlightenment guarantees that no one will ever attain *that* unreal, hazy, dreamy, wishful, inchoate, ill-defined mirage of that "enlightenment": that is "the hyper-inflated conception of enlightenment", which is opposed to my concrete, finite, limited, downscaled, specific and easily achievable *real-world* enlightenment, which cannot be anything more than one tool among many for improving the world.
Real-world, restricted-scope, scaled-down enlightenment is the most valuable and lofty thing in the world, the best part of life, but no part of life could ever be a panacea. Demand the sky, and I guarantee you won't ever get it. Demand mere transcendent knowledge, as one, most valuable fraction of a full and complete life, and I guarantee you can get it, far more easily than ever, through the controlled, bounded, and constrained theory of ego death I've pulled together.
Get 185 people together in a discussion group, and you'll hear 185 different assumptions demanding 185 different benefits from enlightenment, and 185 different criticisms of the cybernetic self-control theory of enlightenment for not meeting the expectation each person has set forth, as firmly and as confidently as thoughtlessly.
What do *you* demand and expect from enlightenment? How do *you* define enlightenment? What expectations do *you* hold that enlightenment must live up to?
Anyone who believes the kinds of benefits above is a naive fool, led about into disappointment by their own runaway assumptions and wishful thinking about their own preconceived notions of what enlightenment ought to entail and provide. In the search for their own fantasized, inflated hazy dream of what enlightenment ought to provide and ought to be about, they don't attain the enlightenment that *is* attainable.
Full basic enlightenment is easy; the price is that you must reign in what you expect and demand from enlightenment, and sacrifice your precious freewill assumption, replacing it by a radically transcendent and emphatically beyond-rationality kind of freedom that is specifically not the child's naïve freewill assumption.
New Agers, particularly in reaction after 1960s when the efficacy of entheogens for inducing the mystic state was firmly established and universally conceded as fact, *insist* on permanently welding metaphysical enlightenment to ethics, and -- in the extreme yet almost typical version of this strategic stance -- literally and explicitly deny *all* value to metaphysical enlightenment itself, and *only* grant value to the *undifferentiated combination* of narrowly-defined enlightenment with ten thousand other "required" goals and concerns; they stoop so low as to go out of their way to deny all value to metaphysical altered-state mystic enlightenment itself, while, inconsistently, they are ready to grant value to *other* isolated areas of life, such as sex, relationships, ecology, daily life within the ordinary state of consciousness.
When pushed against the wall by the plain ramifications of entheogens' uncontestable superb efficacy, the jealous, entheogen-diminishing Establishment-friendly New Age spirituality stance resorts so low as to hold this set of values:
sex - valuable
relationships - valuable
ordinary state of consciousness - valuable
environmental activism - valuable
fixing the world - valuable
self-improvement - valuable
all these things together - valuable
metaphysical enlightenment - worthless
This attitude of loathing enlightenment itself is the insane end-result of something covert: a hubristic jealousy of the efficacy of entheogens, which clearly are hand-in-glove effective at inducing the mystic state; the very generation who most knows as a first-hand *fact* the supreme efficacy of entheogens is precisely therefore the generation best poised to do what they are in fact doing, at the extreme yet popular endpoint, of demonizing not only entheogens, but the mystic state itself and metaphysical enlightenment itself.
Only those who are certain that entheogens are the most direct path to the mystic altered state of consciousness are in the position to invent, out of bad faith and covert psychological motivations, a novel, distorted, gutted version and definition of "spirituality" that emphatically does all it can to diminish and disparage the twins who exist in such a perfectly close marriage: entheogens, and the mystic altered state.
These reactionary anti-entheogen, ex-junk-entheogenist spiritualists are as bad as reactionary anti-Christian ex-junk-Christians. They have switched from an inadequate and uninspired use of entheogens, to an inadequate and uninspired disparagement of entheogens in favor of just as superficially following and running after some other simple-minded authoritative panacea.
Now that it is established as proven, the practical *identity* of entheogens with the mystic altered state, the simple-minded "seekers" know that they have to either admit entheogens and the mystic state to be unsurpassed in value and profundity -- or else, completely deny the intrinsic value of both. If you disparage entheogens, this generation knows that you cannot but disparage the mystic state itself in the same breath.
They know that if you take down entheogens, you have no choice but to take down the authority and intrinsic value of the mystic state itself. So they set about defining a new, substitute conception of mysticism that specifically is not involved with the mystic altered state of consciousness; best, they even go so far as to wholly invent an entirely new definition of "the mystic altered state of consciousness" that is designed to be perfectly hazy and nebulous except in one point: that it repudiates the mystic altered state of consciousness as it had always been heretofore conceived.
All I want and demand from enlightenment, else I label it "too limited", is: wealth, eternal youth, endless life, continuous bliss throughout every moment, ability to create gold, ability to predict the future, ability to magically command the spirits, ownership of the most prime land, exclusive belovedness by God, peace on earth, vanquishing of my enemies, possession of the Holy Grail, heaven on earth, my whites whiter and my brights brighter. Short of delivering these goods, I hold enlightenment to be completely worthless, disappointing, and unworthy of the name.
"What do you want from life?" is a great question to ask one who has attained full basic enlightenment. Or, "What did you want from enlightenment?" -mh
What do you want from life
To kidnap an heiress and threaten her with a knife
What do you want from life
To get cable TV and watch it every night
There you sit a lump in your chair
Where do you sleep
and what do you wear
when you're sleeping
What do you want from life
an Indian guru to show you the inner light
What do you want from life
a meaningless love affair
with a girl that you met tonight
How can you tell when you're doin' alright
Does your bank account swell
While you're dreaming at night
How do you know when you're really in love
Do violins play when you're touching the one
That you're loving
What do you want from life
Someone to love and somebody you can trust
What do you want from life
to try and be happy
While you do the nasty things you must
What do you want from life
What do you want from life
What do you want from life
What do you want from life
Well you can't have that,
but if you're an American citizen
you are entitled to:
a heated kidney shaped pool,
a microwave oven (don't watch the food cook,)
a dynagym, I'll personally demonstrate it in the privacy of your own home,
a king size titanic unsinkable Molly Brown waterbed with polybendum,
a foolproof plan
and an airtight alibi,
real simulated indian jewelry,
a Gucci shoetree,
a years supply of antibiotics,
a personally autographed picture of Randy Mantooth,
and Bob Dylan's new unlisted phone number,
a beautifully restored Third Reich swizzle stick,
a dream date in kneepads with Paul Williams,
a new Matador,
a new mastadon,
a Merc Montclaire,
a Mark 4,
or a Malibu,
a Mork Moriarty,
a Mack truck,
a new Monza,
or a Moped,
hell, a herd of Winnebagos,
we're givin' 'em away,
or how about a MacCullough chain saw,
a Las Vegas wedding,
a Mexican divorce,
a solid gold Kama Sutra coffee cup,
or a baby's arm holding an apple.
The ego-death theory is a model of will, self-control, and time, and a model of mental models including the notion of mental-construct association matrixes.
This cybernetic theory of ego transcendence is immune to whether Jesus existed, whether God exists, whether randomness exists, whether the world is deterministic... and the theory is not something that could be true or false. It's just a device that is associated with a certain kind of experience, the ego-death experience.
It doesn't matter whether the mystery religions used entheogens, or whether Christianity was originally an entheogen-using mystery-religion, or what was in Greek "wine" mixture, or what the Hellenistic world really thought of the myths and mysteries of the era. It doesn't matter whether Copenhagen quantum mechanics or, instead, hidden variables is true; advanced action has no impact on the theory.
It doesn't matter how consciousness itself works, or whether the physical world exists outside the mind, or whether there is a heaven and a hell, or whether we can have psychic remote viewing or precognition. All those things are irrelevancies for the project of creating a model that causes ego-death and describes the ego-death experience.
What remains? A technique, and a set of concepts and a point of view, that prompt and describe a certain experience. Not truth, not certainty, not a meaning for life, not a religion in any expected sense. It may be a philosophy, but not an -ism or a programme, and I don't know if I would call it a master narrative.
Wilber's Integral Theory is offered largely as a solution to practical problems. I intend to provide no such mundane and practical solutions to save the world. We chronically have expected too much from enlightenment and transcendent knowledge. We are not justified in carelessly assuming that transcendent knowledge will save the world. "If only people had transcendent knowledge, everything would work out." I have no reason to believe that. That's asking way too much from knowledge.
I'm more of an engineer than a theorist, unless you emphasize theory *as* system-building.
In the Late 1990s I had broad interests and commentaries on various subjects, and then around 2002 identified just 3 or 4 key points to focus on (no-historical-Jesus, entheogen theory of religion, determinism, and the rationality of mystic insight), and after that, feel like my attention has, in some sense, broadened back out again, on this new basis, using this new paradigm with its key supporting beams.
I somewhat worried when my focus so narrowed that I only had 3 things to say, such that I literally summarized and conveyed the whole theory in a one-paragraph .sig, but after a period of that, things naturally opened back out again, integrating esotericism and world mysticism, Neoplatonism, and pre-modern metaphor systems. Now I see these 3 or 4 things as the basis on which the whole broad world of philosophy rests.
>>Came across your website a few years ago, and just revisited it.
Someday I will upload and organize my postings. I think people are reading the site and not reading my past postings, because my normal website user interface is much faster and better formatted than the Yahoo groups user interface.
I wonder if instead of uploading a thousand postings to the website, I could effectively survey them and the upload a small number of webpage articles that encapsulate all the conclusions of my recent few years of postings -- going back to about a year before the Egodeath discussion group, back to 2000, when I discovered books about mushrooms in Christianity, then books about no-Historical Jesus. My first posting to JesusMysteries was Feb. 2001.
Two or three years ago I started serious book lists at Amazon, and to a lesser extent, serious book reviews at Amazon. I converted to no-Historical Jesus sometime after April 2000, and soon to no-Historical Apostles.
Other major milestones over the past few years, ideas that I need to upload to the site:
Nov. 14, 2001 -- "Kingdom of God" and related Christian themes, and then Nirvana and ceasing reincarnation, map easily and directly to no-free-will.
March 25, 2003 -- Jesus as apocalyptic prophet, the "two ages of man" insight.
Your posting today was excellent, stating that the Jesus character in the official corpus definitely fades.
The corpus definitely portrays a mythic-only Jesus as you go back in time; it's not ambiguous on this. Only a forced reading can claim to see a historical single individual as we move backwards through the writings.
>>I like your making a connection with the mythic "Jesus" stuff. That's a very exciting area, and especially thanks for putting up the Schilling summaries of the radikalkritik stuff.
Some people are interested in what I used to be driven by: studying cognition and visionary cognitive loosening agents in order to increase one's level of personal management and self-control. They are put off by the consideration of religious origins and metaphor; they live in the modern era and see no potential relevance of historical studies or the religion paradigm.
I follow my intuition, which is certain that revising Christian history is the most important, key topic, and try to justify this intuitive knowledge to others who are alienated and bored by Christianity and historical study of religion. Revising the history of Christianity is the most important key to enlightenment and to the availability of visionary plants.
Doing so also pulls along the revision of all other religions; Christian history is the fulcrum on which the whole world can be moved. Revise Christian history, change the entire world. My time is extremely valuable and I scream upon hearing Peter Kirby's recent attitude a couple weeks ago of "We can never really know about the real origins of Christianity, but discussing these texts is just fun."
It may happen to be fun, but I don't have time to idly waste on fun; I am only interested in moving the entire world, and revising Christian history and origins is the key, the fulcrum point. The kind of change of the world I mean is not sociopolitical change, but the intellectual comprehension of what authentic religion is actually about, what its fountainhead and wellspring is.
The goal is an intellectual, sapiential new order and new paradigm of what philosophy and spirituality and religion and myth and mysticism is about, very much in conflict with today's common views of religion. I'm with the theorists of Tradition, except that I maintain that enlightenment is rational, is systematically and scientifically explainable, is easy to achieve, is classically based on visionary plants, and centrally involves the experience of vertical block-universe determinism and no-free-will.
It might not be immediately clear, especially to those who lack mystic experience, that these ideas are closely related and work together to explain ego death and related insights and experiences. Custom glossary definitions of all these topics would probably make it clear how closely related these topics are. For example, the free will and determinism debate is usually considered to be a separate subject from religious experiencing, but when you read about religious experiencing, loss of control over one's will is common. Also, the greatest debate in Christian theology is whether the will is free to put faith in Jesus (and thus become one of the saved or elect whom God has chosen for salvation) -- or whether the act of putting faith in Jesus is initiated only by God. A set of custom glossary definitions would immediately make the linkage among these topics clear.
From the group home page:
This discussion group covers the cybernetic theory of ego death and ego transcendence, including:
Nonreductionistic block-universe determinism/ Fatedness, the closed and preexisting future, tenseless time, free will as illusory, the holographic universe, and predestination and Reformed theology.
Cognitive science, mental construct processing, mental models, ontological idealism, contemporary metaphysics of the continuant self, cybernetic self-control, personal control agency, moral agency, and self-government.
Zen satori, short-path enlightenment, and Alan Watts; transpersonal psychology, Ken Wilber, and integral theory.
Entheogens and psychedelic drugs, the Eleusinian mysteries and cracking the allegorical code of the mystery religions, mythic metaphor and allegorical encoding, the mystic altered state, mystic and religious experiencing, visionary states, religious rapture, and Acid Rock mysticism.
Loss of control, self-control seizure, cognitive instability, and psychosis and schizophrenia.
The goal of the site and this discussion group has already been defined. I am sympthetic that newcomers want me to spell everything out. I have already done this at the site and in this group. It is *your* responsibility to read what I have already written -- don't be lazy and ask me to individually teach each person. I am open to suggestions about what web page, link text, subject line, and posting content I can provide to make the goals clearer.
What more can I possibly do after posting the Intro article and some of the early postings that explain what a cybernetic theory of ego death has to offer? I probably need to add such an article to the top of the home page and the discussion group home page or links page.
Ego death and other mystic altered state experiences are often considered the peak and goal of human life. My goal is to explain and convey such experiences through a combination of mystic-state techniques and clear, rational explanations, including relating this theory to existing religions, particularly Christianity and also Zen. This will make sense out of Christianity through emphasizing esoteric Christian experience. The goal is to experience and understand ego death and related phenomena, and thus gain transcendent knowledge. The web site and discussion group provide a place to develop such techniques and explanations. I plan to write a book eventually, but I intend this to be a milestone in publishing by being developed and published first on the Net.
>But is the focus on Christian theory appropriate for the egodeath group? Zen doctrine has much that is in accord with what is written here...... a superficial analysis of Zen fatuously concludes that Buddhism is all about the pursuit of nirvana or enlightenment... but a real study of Zen reveals the sublime moment is here right now. There is nowhere to go, nowhere else to be. A real study of Zen reveals the sublime moment is here right now. There is nowhere to go, nowhere else to be.
The sublimeness of this moment might as well not be, if one is unaware of it. The practical goal of Zen is to gain something: awareness of the hidden sublimeness of all moments. Gaining that awareness requires gaining a whole set of ideas, experiences, and insights. Don't oversimplify Zen by smoothing over the variety of approaches within it. Is *the* goal of Zen to reveal the sublimeness of all moments? No, it's to gain enlightenment, which may include the conscious awareness of the sublimeness of all moments.
"Enlightenment is nothing to be gained" is just a clever poetic idea. It is something to be gained: the experience and understanding of the relationship of the person and environment, including the positioning of things along the time axis.
>A famous Zen saying which encapsulates this thought is "No snowflake falls in an inappropriate place." This is NOT determinism, but a statement that everything that is is big mind... and though big mind is immanent in all, it is not present in a controlling, deterministic sense... it is just there... the universal noumenal underlying the phenomenal.
Determinism is a fairly large area of ideas, definitions, and debates. Christianity is a *huge* area of research, ideas, traditions, practices, and origins. Zen is a sizeable set of ideas as well. What is the essence of determinism, Christianity, or Zen? That's not a question for which we can immediately whip out an answer. It is rationally and specifically answerable, but I would picture these three domains as sizeable domains with partial overlap.
I recently realized how, despite my many hours reading certain Christianity books, I was grossly ignorant of the content and history and theology of Christianity. My situation is about as bad with Eastern religion. I am a sophomore -- I've read just enough to harbor the delusion of knowing what Buddhism or Zen is. I'm sure of the center of Zen and am no stranger to it, but to contribute anything substantial I would need to reread the books I've read, reread the best other books I have, and obtain several other good books.
For the goals I've been focusing on, Buddhism can be connected but is not where the main action is at for me, lately. In this phase, I'm practicing deciding *not* to study various areas. A good example is Quantum Mechanics. I have great books that challenge Copenhagenist dominance, but I can't get around to reading them -- I'm fully committed these days to doing an excellent job of re-conceiving Christianity by reading the best esoteric Christianity books as well as general histories and a variety of theologies.
Certain aspects of Christianity and certain aspects of Zen, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam are directly relevant to ego death. I have chosen to especially tackle Christianity, because it is the predominant Western religion and is challenging. I would like other people to connect ego death (as I frame it) to other religions if they are so inclined.
Lately my emphasis on Christianity is out of proportion to its importance in the general theory of egodeath. Christianity is the problem I'm currently hammering on with all my attention. I'm not reading many books lately that cover Buddhism or Zen, which are currently a second priority for me.
Thank you for your challenging proposal for connecting the core theory of egodeath with the different emphases that Zen has, compared to the emphases of esoteric Christianity. My special interest in Zen is Watts' writings about self-control cybernetics such as the article Zen and the Problem of Control in the book This Is It, and passages in The Way of Zen.
If I can only read ten more books in the next months, they'll be on Christianity/Judaism/Mysteries/Gnosticism rather than Buddhism. At least for the foreseeable future, I'm counting on other people to connect my egodeath approach to other religions such as Zen and Buddhism.
The Cybernetic Theory of Ego Transcendence (my early, classic title) is a theory of what Gnosis is about.
Like so many people, my project was originally driven by the desire for transcendently increasing personal control and self-determination. Then, through the escalation of that project, I stumbled and fell over Gnosis, as the Apostle Paul describes in trying to follow the Law. "Following the Law" there mystically means striving with all one's might to rigorously follow one's chosen system of self-determination conduct.
Perhaps after I map the Core Theory of Gnosis to Western Esotericism, I can return to my original "full transcendent self-determination" project, connecting the Core Theory of Gnosis to that popular project.
billyl/pepdion wrote (paraphrased):
>>I am blown away by the egodeath site and discussion group. These are concepts I have always pondered, but the treatment of them here is about ten levels above my knowledge. I am a layman but want to know and understand more about this. What is the most fundamental goal of this study?
See the thread: What's to be gained from grasping the theory?
>>I am reminded of a book I recently read by Tony Parsons – Open Secret. He suggests that we really have no choice in anything we do.
Parsons may be similar to Ramesh Balsekar, an Advaita determinist who shocked the magazine What Is Enlightenment?, so that it showed its true unenlightened colors, with editor/guru Andrew Cohen officially rejecting that the world is deterministic (not from a particularly informed perspective). The magazine is better than most newage spirituality magazines, nevertheless -- though I'm letting my subscription lapse.
My theory -- my systematization of the perennial philosophy -- is essentially an *entheogenic trans-determinism* theory of religion and perennial philosophy; that the main wellspring of religion is the use of visionary plants to discover that the mind and world are strictly ruled by determinism, and to then typically seek intellectually legitimate and practically stable ways one can transcend determinism.
The latter is not a denial that the world is deterministic, but the discovery of the mind's transcendent potential to postulate the divine, metaphorized as high magic. The magus believes that the world and all minds in it are ruled by determinism, but transcendently postulates a spiritual realm and level of human existence outside determinism, a realm by definition "beyond rationality and knowability" in any ordinary sense.
>>Is Carlos Castaneda's concept of escaping our "hard coded" personal description of the world related to these concepts?
I am not familiar with the concept.
>>This list has begun to reflect the superficiality of attaining human worth through mentality
Some people hold onto literalism and then put down people based on their own literalism. I'm all for criticizing people or ideas, but it is a waste of time and a cheap move to deliberately misunderstand and misread someone and then critize the person -- or rather, one's own cartoon disfiguring of the person. It's easy to criticize the surface of what the trickster mystics write, the surface metaphors, but worthless, contributing nothing except this opportunity to investigate the use of trickster misleading through challenging metaphors.
Critiquing the scope of the discussion group is not directly on-topic, though it may be a relevant meta-discussion topic.
Per Ken Wilber, development of the person requires development of multiple aspects of the person, and integration of these developments. The purpose of this discussion group is to focus on developing a theoretical model of the ego death and rebirth experience. If you don't like that focused project, then don't participate in it; leave, go away, don't participate in it, lead your own discussion group, if your approach is so much better. There are countless discussion groups you may love better than this project-oriented group.
This group has focused on what its charter says (unlike many other discussion groups).
>>Now, the going rate seems to be what paradigm do you exist in.
Such as freewillist thinking, armchair causal-chain determinism, or timeless block-universe mystic determinism; position on visionary plants; position on historicity of religious founder-figures.
This is not a personal socializing discussion and conversation group; this group is about a *theory*, and about discussion of various specific topics, not about who is in the club and who is not. Discussion of who is in God's kingdom and who is on the outside (per Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls) is a theoretically interesting idea; who belongs to the chosen race of God's elect, and who is of the Devil.
Those who are shocked by this have failed the metaphor-decoding test; these are deliberately offensive trickster metaphors designed to shock the mind's non-metaphorical thinking and pose surprising ideas and ramifications resulting from the principle of timeless determinism.
I'm here to separate the literalists from the lovers of penetrating metaphor. I am the messiah sitting in judgement and sorting souls, here to bring not peace, but a sword to divide husband from wife, child from parent. Popular spirituality is literalist and too stiff-necked to permit themselves any humor, but clever humor is the key mindset to crack the puzzles and solve the riddles thrown forward as challenges to intellectual comprehension about determinism.
>>The need to talk about mental constructs, the appearance of the world, and what paradigm do you exist in, in a non-therapeutic setting, seems to be a phase albeit important for a while in understanding changes
Read this discussion group's purpose again. This is not a lifestyle counselling group and life-improvement group. If you want that, go to any of a thousand other groups. I am not joking when I say that this group is for intellectual development of theory about mystic-state experiential insights. I am not going to change the purpose of this group. It's somewhat valuable and on-topic to discuss whether this scope is generally valuable, and what else is needed.
>and yet a mental trap to fall into,
That's a free-floating, ungrounded speculation. You're wringing your hands over your own phantasmic worries.
>perhaps indicative of non-integration,
"Perhaps, perhaps..." It is on-topic to discuss integration, per Wilber's Integral Theory for example. What evidence do you have that this group is "non-integrative"? This group isn't even specifically *meant* to be integrative; it is meant to put on gloves and helmet and pick up hammer and hammer out a concrete, specific, summarizable, intellectual model of the experiential insights of the intense mystic altered state.
Can you tell say how this group is supposed to adhere to that specific, distinct project while also adding some sort of "integration", including specific characterizeation and description of such "integration"?
>and perhaps indicative of an ego that does not know what to do with itself as it balloons into megalomania....
"Perhaps, perhaps..." And perhaps a person making such speculations is in denial of their own shadow side, projecting their own bad, ill intentions onto other people. Perhaps such a commentator has a secret evil strategy of pretending to be an ideal model of moral thinking, while actually wanting just to inflate their own apparent moral worth, at the unfair expense of others, by deliberately or subconsciously taking a literalist and rigid interpretive stance toward what others write, a stance designed to always portray the other person in the worst possible light.
>>Life presents itself to each of us in many different ways, not one better than another
The judgment of something being 'better' is context-dependent. This group is not focused on achieving a better lifestyle, but better theory and method of metaphysical enlightenment. The purpose of this discussion group and the theory I'm pulling together is to provide a better -- more ergonomic -- system of realization of the ancient perennial philosophy than has ever been done before, by theorizing for today's audience and for all audiences more clearly than any theorist has ever done for their audience.
We moderns stand on the shoulders of giants and can therefore outdo the effectiveness of previous systematizations of transcendent knowledge. Similarly, modernity is positioned to provide more ergonomic access to the mystic state than ever before.
Wilber's Integral Theory permits such a focused and record-breaking ergonomic system of metaphysical enlightenment to be integrated with other aspects of personal and societal development, but this discussion group and theory has never been focused on integrating this model of metaphysical enlightenment with other aspects of life; all the focus here has been chosen to be on putting together the distinct theory itself, not on integrating it with general improvement of the world.
Many people drawn to the theory are looking for increased self-management, which motivated the theory originally. This theory will still be of interest to them. And, many people are interested in peak religious experiencing and mystic-state insight about time, self, control, and will. People want a panacea and look to metaphysical enlightenment for it. Instead of promising immortality, gold, land, restoration of youth, or prediction-ability -- the attractors in esotericism -- this theory appears to hold out the attractive promise of increased self-management.
That's why I was led to pull it together during the first few years. But when I found enlightenment instead, it drew my interest more. Seek the gold's insight.
You may be drawn by wanting to spiritually uplift all moments in life. That's an overblown expectation, but metaphysical enlightenment is something worth attaining, and this theory makes that outright easy. Robert Plant: "I just wanted to have some fun."
Bob Daisley of the Ozzy Osbourne Band, from "S.A.T.O.":
Now I find peace of mind
Finally found a way of thinking
Tried the rest found the best
Stormy day won't find me sinking
Wind is high so am I
As the shore sinks in the distance
Dreams unfold seek the gold
Gold that's brighter than sunlight
Sail away see the day
Dawning on a new horizon
Gold's insight shining bright
Brighter than the sun that's rising
>>People attracted to the esoteric work to simply satisfy their subjective desires are totally mistaken. The ego must die.
Enlightenment is largely a disappointment to the ego.
>>Robert Plant and Ozzy and his band are hardly models of increased efficiency in self-management. Are we to suppose that the reason why Ozzy can barely utter a coherent sentence is because he is filled with metaphysical enlightenment?
We should be focusing mostly on Bob Daisley, who, according to his site, wrote the lyrics on the first two Ozzy Osbourne Band albums. My respect for Ozzy himself has taken a nosedive: he is a perfect singer for his type of music, but just a singer.
I am wary of making marketing claims and campaign promises that enlightenment produces greater self-management. I am protective of the integrity and durability of the theory of ego death. Ego death *certainly* provides understanding -- an altered mental worldmodel. But does enlightenment produce greater self-management? that's a conjecture, hypothesis, speculation, a matter completely subject to debate.
>>Did Robert Plant's idea of fun include having Jimmy Page strung out on smack, and the tragic death of Bonham?
Plant's expression must be evaluated first in its immediate context, expressing the common pattern that people were attracted to LSD around the 1960s-1970s by a mixture of perceived attractions, including "fun", but LSD often produced ego death, self-control seizure, transcendent experiencing, and enlightenment.
Metaphysical enlightenment is something worth attaining, *even aside from whether it is combined with a thousand other supposedly valuable concerns*, and this theory makes metaphysical enlightenment outright easy, so easy that people can now become enlightened as effortlessly as Robert Plant stumbled across direct religious experiencing when he invested no more energy than just intending to have fun.
Bonham died from alcohol, as far as I know, which would be difficult to include in the category of "visionary plants" -- despite the term 'wine' as a label and metaphor for ancient psychoactive mixtures.
The drug problems of Rock musicians might be partly due to prohibition and the lack of *integrating* visionary plants into modern culture.
I am not, however, putting forth further promises. People need to quit treating enlightenment as their fantasy-projection screen and dumping ground for all their desires. Wishful thinking and simplistic solutions to all the world's problems are one thing; enlightenment is a specific, distinct realm or layer, not a cure-all or a big fantasy wish-fulfillment tit in the sky to effortlessly feed them everything they wish for and magically make all the labors and difficulties of life vanish instantly.
People need to grow up and reign in their fantasies about what enlightenment is supposed to be; then they will find that what they have pushed infinitely far away high up on a pedestal actually is so simple, a concise theoretical model combined with a series of mystic-state initiations can routinely and easily and quickly deliver full basic enlightenment.
>Plant has a much more somber and clearer view of life today.
Clearer? That could be said of anyone. I know nothing about Plant except what his classic art itself says.
>What is overblown are theories promising enlightenment easily and quickly. Like all get rich quick schemes, the result is total failure.
When enlightenment is carefully delimited and defined, with finite scope, and when an appropriate theory is integrated with effective method of bringing about the mystic state of cognition, *that* enlightenment -- real, specific, realistic, nothing-special enlightenment -- is attainable straightforwardly, easily, and quickly: I stand in the pre-modern tradition on this point, but with the potentially better tools the modern world provides.
In fact, there is a lightning path; in fact, some people *have* gotten rich quickly. It is false to simply say "all get rich quick sceemes, the result is total failure"; it must be qualified by 'most' or 'typically'. There will never be heavier than air flight, any sooner than a perpetual motion machine. The modern world is the freak in history, maintaining that enlightenment is, for all practical purposes, unattainable.
Who are you going to listen to: those who have a hazy definition of enlightenment and say it must be hard to attain, or those who have a clear and specific definition of enlightenment, and say it can be easy and straightforward to attain? Whose song sounds more melodious and attractive to *you*?
Whose system is more likely to succeed: his who has no shape, no clear goal, and is held by him to be difficult to attain? Or his whose is completely shaped, tangible, with a clear and specific goal, and is held by him to be easy and straightforward to attain? The latter is more likely to deliver its specific promises, in a measurable and accountable way, in the claimed timeframe.
>Uplifting all moments in life is attainable ...
Don't call uplifting all moments in life "enlightenment" if doing so subtracts from metaphysical enlightenment itself, which is the very source of the concept of uplifting.
It is easy to get to the Egodeath discussion group using the link near the top of my http://www.egodeath.com home page. The link is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/egodeath.
However, I'm not sure what the discussion group -- newsletter group or blog will be like in the future. My main focus now must be further work on organizing all my 2001-2004 postings, to publish them to the Web. There will be a major section on revisionist history of Christian origins. I am keeping your needs in mind. It won't be the material you would write; it will be material that you ought to be interested in and complements yours.
Soon you'll be able to look at my categories of Web-based articles to see the areas I've been writing about since 2001, and the combination of areas -- I'm actually making daily progress on re-outlining and reformatting; I hope to upload the articles within a week.
I want my best, main material to be at the website, with daily posts as mere supplemental material; it has been the opposite, with my inferior, older material at the site and best material hidden in Yahoo's impossible-to-work-with Web-based archive.
What is special and distinctive about my work? What am I a leading specialist in? What should you think of when you think of me or my work?
My main areas of specialty are:
o Reading metaphorical allusions to the mystic state phenomena in pre-modern writings.
o Metaphor in myth-religion-esotericism
o No-historical-Jesus from a mystic-based perspective
o Using historical text studies only secondarily (the reverse and complement of your approach)
o The rationality of mystic insight.
o Mystic experienced determinism (the experience of no-free-will in the mystic state), and the experience of "miraculous/magic" transcendent release from the prison of determinism, restoring the sense of being a power-wielding, self-controlling, self-directing control agent (universally metaphorized as a "king", or switching from being a bad, ungodly king to a good, divinely elected king).
If you ever need an analysis of a text by an expert in such a paradigm and interpretive framework, look me up. I know how to read the language of metaphor-myth-mysticism. Moderators all hate me *because* I have a set, definite theory and solution to ancient religious meaning. It's the irony of scholarship in America: everyone praises open inquiry, and demonizes reaching any definite conclusions; they love "path" and hate "goal/arrival".
I think you stumble when it comes to Mr. Historical Paul, however, and misread what kind of a figure Paul was: I think Acharya, like Max Rieser, called it right.
The True Founder of Christianity and the Hellenistic Philosophy
On October 2, 2003, Peter Kirby inadvertently proved Paul didn't exist. In doing so, he asked of you:
>>Thus the "Gospel of Mark" is a conversation between "Paul" and "Jesus"? Hell of a lot more sensical to me. And Doherty says so ... Doherty sees the author of the Gospel of Mark as one who had been brought up in the "Galilean Tradition" and devised a brilliant bit of religious syncretism in identifying the fictional Q founder with the exalted Pauline Christ in fashioning the passion story whole cloth. ... Could Doherty be projecting the mythological struggles of the second century back on to the first, in conformance to hidebound Pauline and Markan scholarship? ...
>>I concluded that "the apostles" are constructions of the second century (and later) to justify various positions of the church. I also concluded that Doherty is projecting the mythological battles of the second century back on to the first, in line with hidebound Pauline scholarship. Thus he [Doherty] is exposed as one who [unthinkingly assumes he] knows [the historical] Paul but doesn't know [any evidence for the historical] Jesus, and thus doesn't understand the "fact" that we are in fact separated from all these mythological figures in so many ways.
Then Kirby then fell off the Net. He hasn't updated his web sites in 4 months.
It is hard to work with Acharya. I will be posting articles critiquing her mindset. She has hit a popular nerve with her rabid scorched-earth anti-Christianity. She frames all interactions in simple-minded terms of "friend or foe" -- which is a poor way to work with a diverse group of scholars, who must have a "sorting" or "pick-and-choose" attitude, and work with scholars from a variety of paradigms. Her hatred of Christianity is as absolute and deep as my hatred of prohibition of visionary plants.
I expect scholars of Christian origins to group me tightly with John Allegro, just as Transpersonal Psychologists and Cognitive Studies academic scholars would group me tightly with Stan Grof. But, I don't think of myself as a co-worker of Allegro (or Grof). My *combination* of interests and approaches and emphases is just too different: a theory of religion based on the altered-state *experience of determinism*.
How do I differ from John Allegro? We agree about no-historical-Jesus, but I focus on mythic metaphor throughout myth-religion-esotericism, I have no interest in Allegro's sex aspect, except sex as metaphor for mystic experiencing, I focus on determinism (did Allegro write anything on fate/determinism/heimarmene?), and I hold mystic insight to be fully rationally explicable: I think of myself as an engineer/scientist who has figured out and concisely systematized the real, ultimate meaning of myth-religion.
I also stand apart from nearly all entheogen scholars by defining the maximal, as opposed to their minimal, entheogen theory of religion. They say entheogens are nearly as legitimate and traditional in mysticism as meditation; in contrast, I say that traditionally, until the Modern/Protestant era, meditation was not the main mystic method, was not one alternative mystic method, but rather, meditation was one minor *supplement* to the main mystic method *throughout all Hellenistic and Medieval/Renaissance religion*, that main mystic method being visionary plants.
That goes far beyond Allegro's "minimal entheogen theory of religion", which leaves one with the impression that entheogens were only present in Christianity a long time ago, by a small group. I Almost all entheogen scholars are too attached to the sob story about how the (supposedly) all-powerful, (supposedly) ancient Church almost completely effectively stamped out entheogens for two thousand years.
In contrast, I begin with the assumption that entheogens were everywhere the basis, origin, and main method of religion, at least until the Modern/Protestant era, and then I back off from there as the evidence mandates.
The JesusMysteries moderators continue to drive away some potential contributors. I find it hard to picture them as trying to strike the best balance.
People who have spent time researching things and have reached conclusions are automatically banned. Moderators think of their group as "exploring ideas" rather than "finding a solution". In that sense, they are not serious.
The JesusMysteries group is a fine example: everyone is supposed to push bits of text here and there, *forever*, wondering about Mr. Historical Jesus til kingdom come, but that seems an insult to your book, Jesus Puzzle, and Challenging the Verdict, which have closed the books on Mr. Historical Jesus about as much as possible short of combining your mode of argument with mysticism-based analysis and mystic-state oriented evidence. http://pages.ca.inter.net/~oblio/jesus.html
It is noteworthy to me that my points about defining 'historical Jesus' were taken up by the moderators, who rewrote the purpose of the group to realign it with my points: instead of simplistically arguing about yes/no was there a historical Jesus, that question has been wholly replaced by the more useful question, "What are the true origins of Christianity?" But without a mystic metaphorical sensibility, it is impossible to really understand the true origins of Christianity.
The Gnosis: Or Ancient Wisdom in the Christian Scriptures
Kingsland waffles strangely as some Theosophists did, on whether there was a historical Jesus. Like Price's new book, he seems to switch which assumption they make, every few paragraphs.
I scour pre-modern texts as much as anyone at JesusMysteries ("the Jesus Mysteries non-discussion group"), but from such a different approach and framework, it seems like we have a war of wholly unrelated approaches and studies. I focus on how to read, not what the facts in the document state on the surface.
With your non-mystical focus, you could benefit from studying Ruler Cult: divine elect kingship in the Hellenistic and Medieval/Renaissance eras.
>>You mention that Allegro will be vindicated. Rest assured that you too will be.
It only bothers me how rapidly the insights are *still* coming together for me -- a mixture of insights and confirmation after confirmation after confirmation as I study Western history. It's a manic whirlwind feeling, I'm waiting for the storm to ease but it just keeps on in a gale of spirit -- and that's *without* the mystic altered state.
Everything I touch, in my bookish research, turns to gold; every glitch or challenge that worries me in the morning is solved by the evening, with a new, more or less major insight in hand. I suppose this is how import books or Rock albums are created: momentum suddenly builds up and carries the innovator away. I feel almost assaulted by a runaway buildup of feedback insights.
I'm trying to express a downside -- I'm overloaded, overwhelmed by potential. I can see how superstars would seek to escape the success-machine. Television is the evilest thing ever invented, but the commercials are good. I recall the advertisement for computer technology showing a new company celebrating its first sale but being dismayed to see a deluge of far too many orders to process.
Every book I peek at slams me with a flood of insights and confirmation. I wonder about declaring that enough is enough, time to publish... yet still these subjects are too new for me to write about. I learned about the existence of Eastern Orthodox Christianity just the other day. I am extremely ignorant -- but then, I look at scholars today and just shake my head at their *utter* ignorance: the fact that they even think the presence or absence today of the Holy Spirit is something to *debate* about -- jesus, what ivory tower do they hide in? where have they *been* during the past 50 years?
The long tradition of enforced ignorance, and prohibition of publishing and herbal knowledge, at the end of the egoic delusion era, has made it possible for a barely educated person to march in and turn the world upside down. Various key domains of knowledge are still artificially kept apart, but with a slight turn of a little key, they come rushing together -- an onslaught of crushing overwhelming flood of insights and confirmation, when will it stop? I'm being buried by books and more books, they all fit, they all confirm.
When I comprehended and discovered my core theory of block-universe determinism on January 11, 1988, I knew that I had to become educated, to catch up with the ongoing conversations in the various relevant domains of knowledge and research, in order to communicate the core theory to people in those domains. I have essentially achieved that, but only barely. I still ought to read many, many more books to fill in more details.
At this point I can merely sketch an excellent outline, defining a completely specific framework or new paradigm for investigation and detailed research. I have sketched an outline of the history and politics of determinism and have shown the *kind* of metaphor employed in Christianity and the mystery-religions, including Hebrew allegories of ego death/sacrifice/transcendence such as the exodus and Abraham's virtual sacrifice of his child.
The Abraham figure is our forefather who sacrificed his virtual child-self without physically ending or neutering himself; he recognized the virtual-only nature of his virtual freewill egoic moral agency. According to Wilber's Up From Eden, the tendency in matriarchal religions to that point had been a strong Literalist tendency that couldn't move past bodily human sacrifice into permitting the ego to thrive as a beneficial convention.
The patriarchal *legal* egoic agency (confirmed in the book Myth & Tragedy in Ancient Greece) had to be definitely praised, valued, and affirmed despite its being an offensive satanic lie, a democratic society premised on the ageement to live in offense against the sovereignty of Zeus, on the false premise that we can take Zeus' sovereignty away from him and claim egoic self-determination and responsible, culpable moral agency.
One of my more distinctive discoveries is that entheogens reveal determinism and that determinism is politically dangerous. (Of course other ideas have proven politically dangerous to egoic democratic republics as well.) The only way we can understand the mystery-religions, Christianity, and the mythic Hebrew scriptures is by understanding the interaction of entheogens, determinism, mythic allegory, and politics. I am the first theorist to put forth a balanced framework that intentionally combines these.
I should be vindicated for providing and defining the right kind of combination of entheogen experience, ego death explanation, view of determinism, and an effective approach to decoding the allegory of the Cross and Judeo-hellenistic mystery-religion allegory in general. The approach I've defined enables rationally and efficiently solving all puzzles of this allegorical type, including acid-rock lyrical allusions to the mystic altered state.
My mystery-encoding theory of High Classic Rock lyrics enables recognizing and identifying all allusions to the LSD altered state, regardless of the exact musical style, era, or artist: for example, I'm the only one who identifies the Beatles song Help! as being essentially an acid-rock song.
Everything that has been written about this song claims it is about mundane drug problems. But the lyric clusters themselves betray that reading and clearly indicate instead that, in all likelihood, this looks to be a song that is mainly about the *high* drug problem, The Problem at the end of time, the timeless problem of self-control and entheogenic, religious ego-death.
Everyone in the world says differently, but the reading itself is compelling, and indeed, when you investigate the history of John Lennon's drug discoveries, it indeed appears that he wrote Help! very soon after his first experiences of LSD and cannabis. When you reexamine the history and the political context of the time, it unlikely, perhaps even impossible that Help! is merely a mundane call for people to help John Lennon break away from addiction to drugs, drugs of the non-entheogenic type.
Similarly, when you take politics of consciousness into consideration, it is impossible that Rush is not heavily alluding to the phenomena of the entheogen mystic state in their late 1970s albums.
When you consider the politics of determinism, there is good reason to understand why it was against the new, democratic law of Athens to openly reveal the mysteries. Determinism is a dangerous weapon that the dominators of society tend to use to justify their reign as divinely approved by Fate or Zeus.
No one who has used LSD and cannabis would vouch for the scenario we are expected to believe. Conventional writers about the Beatles would have us believe that John Lennon discovered LSD and cannabis and then proceeded to write a song about desperately needing help to get his feet back on the ground after opening up the doors, but the song doesn't refer mainly to the standard LSD phenomena of loss of control and ego death -- no, the cry for help is what the published interviews say, "I was too into drugs, of the regular sort, and pleaded for help from people."
That is mystery-religion secrecy, which is needed throughout the Western history of domination hierarchies. Political oppression has caused mystics to resort to veiled language and false stories ever since domination hierarchies began.
Given the oppression of cannabis and LSD in the mid to late 1960s, how could the top Rock band broadcast an invitation to all the youth to overthrow the elder establishment, and go ahead and ingest cannabis and LSD for the resurgence of real religious experiencing? By explicitly mystery-encoding the invitation: the magical mystery tour is hoping to take you away, dying to take you away, today, in the magic bus that is destined to lose control and crash in a religious climax in the cerebral and spiritual revolution at the end of history. Psychedelic and acid rock was certainly political.
Politics interpenetrates with religious experiencing and lyric. The epic first side of the High Classic Rock album 2112 is about the politics of consciousness -- it criticizes the elders, the priests, the average, and expresses manic depression, and discovering something life-changing while looking through a waterfall -- an "electric guitar", but what is the electric guitar about? Ask Jimi Hendrix, the acid-disintegrated god of electric guitar. He "performed" -- that is, he sarcastically demolished as hypocrisy -- the song Star Spangled Banner.
I didn't notice the appearance of the word 'toy' twice in the album 2112.
For real poets -- Word power-users -- recurrence of words must come to mind consciously, even if coincidence. Three theories of textual meaning: author-intent, reader-response, and ultimate potential meaning. I focus on the latter: what's important is not what the author personally meant in their head, but rather, the ultimate ideas the author was striving to pursue, reflect, and allude to, even though the author has less than perfect grasp of these ultimate ideas.
Java Fusion wrote:
>The postings I have made to this group are hardly my own. They represent the psychological beginnings of a path I am experiencing through my own readings and research, the core of which can be seen in reviews and booklists at Amazon's website.
What reviews and booklists?
>I have read enough of all those books to know their worth and should they all be aflame tomorrow, I wouldn't shed a tear. I've come to comprehend that Gnosis isn't in the research or the writing, it's in the living, experiencing for myself, moment to moment, the reality of Life as it is.
Gnosis attained ergonomically and efficiently, quickly and routinely requires both maximizing effectiveness of gaining book knowledge and maximizing effectiveness of gaining direct mystic-state experiencing, and integrating these two halves. Some of my friends died young; how is a 16-year old to achieve full enlightenment and education about higher knowledge, if 30 years of meditation or study is required? Better book knowledge needs to be available, and better mystic-state inducing techniques need to be used, and a better integration approach of the two halves is needed.
It is a struggle to identify exactly what my specific views are with respect to what people write in online discussion, and what today's book and magazine article authors write.
People give up too easily in online discussion and argument when trying to form and communicate their views; it may take an exchange of many postings and much critical debate and discussion before two people really develop their views clearly in online discussion. People shouldn't be lightweight about this; there is alot right with flame wars, but the problem with flame exchanges is low information/noise ratio. Overly polite discussion often devolves into avoidance of issues and substance, and shrinking back from communicating and developing one's views.
I have torn up books and desecrated them in a sacrificial pile out of impatience with today's paradigms and conceptual frameworks for studying philosophy, psychology, and religion. I also did that to adjust my attitude toward official scholarship and printed books, achieving a kind of emancipating disrespect for the intellectual world like I used to have before I started reading serious books.
>Why do people get depressed?
There are several types of reasons, including social, chemical, political, and self-control frustration.
Transpersonal psychology and integral theory recommend differentiating between kinds of depression, and differentiating between kinds of solutions, to apply the right kind of solution to the particular kind of depression.
Some people think of enlightenment as a method of cheering up. I consider enlightenment to be a matter of rational, cognitive, intellectual loosening up of mental constructs and mental processing in the mystic altered state in order to revise thinking, to produce a more logically consistent mental worldmodel. Such a worldmodel has less cognitive dissonance for the mind that has developed to the stage at which the egoic way of thinking becomes problematic, cognitively dissonant, and dysfunctional.
>>>James' ideas are so old. People have been trying to reconstruct some kind of progressive, mystical-friendly Christianity for a long time -- in our modern era, certainly since the Golden Dawn. I suspect it is more the basic formal structures of gnosticism rather than the complex Blakeon soap operas of its mythic narratives [the Jesus lifestory?] that make Christianity still translatable.
James wrote (paraphrased):
>>I'm not at all really interested in founding a new, friendlier Xtianity. What would the history of Europe had been if Marcion's canon had prevailed? But my "ideas" are really just probes.
>>If you're going to say "Text X refers to entheogens, see this passage right here," then you're going to have to deal with the owners of the texts, Mr. Radio Preacher and Father High School and Professor Institute, who will smile benignly and point out that you really have to read ALL the text to make a comment on it, like a good book reviewer, and over HERE Text X says explicitly, "Beware of false so- called gnosis" or "Crush the snake" or whatever, and "we have heard your partial interpretations from storefront preachers and other heretics many times, so please go away and stop misleading our flock with your amateur sophomoric hermeneutics".
>>You have to play the game by the rules. If you want to interpret scripture to show evidence of entheogens, then you have to account for the counter- evidence. If not, then why play around with this old stuff?
It's easy and straightforward accounting for the counter-evidence: Christianity with its canon has always been a matter of a tug-of-war between entheogenic mystics and the Literalist power-mongers. The two contrary views in the canon -- the Church of Mary Magdalene versus the Church of Peter -- prove this view.
>>*Of course* the Christian/Gnostic/Hellenistic worldview is bizaare and irrelevant today. It would be better to craft something new, from the true Origin, which is right now. No one is better than Erik at finding the deep structure in current trends, or the contemporary significance of "old" ideas
>>In one of Blake's "soap operas" we find the advice to make your own system, or be enslaved by another's.
>>My only interest in the potential for a contemporary relevant mystic version of Christianity arises from reading M. Hoffman. I would have zero interest in Luther's musty quarrels and the rest of that tedious Reformation-era rubbish if it weren't for reading M. Hoffman's slant on it.
>>"My ideas" old? Erik, you've confused me with that guy in the East Village and his Church of Lillith (staffed by all those pretty runaway boys)! No churchy real estate to tie *me* down -- I'm flying in Peter Wilson's Airstream trailer!
I am not literally and specifically claiming that Acid Rock is the way to move ahead to form a native modern embodiment of mystic religion. In some ways, Acid Rock was as much a failure, a suppressed underground strategy struggling against the system of prohibition-for-profit, as drug policy reform in general. Classic Rock revolves around the "LSD with THC" religion, and remains in some sense thriving; it's played commonly around town and on the info-airwaves.
It's frankly untrue that only people over 40 listen to Acid Rock. I have conversations about Led Zeppelin and Rush all the time with 20-somethings who mention these artists. Electronica thrives in some sense but it too can be portrayed as a nonmainstream cult genre and narrow subculture -- many young people are *not* interested in electronica. The situation is postmodern fragmentation.
The *content* of Rush's Acid Rock song "The Body Electric", with ASCII and android prayer to the mother of all machines, is a great pointer toward a native, modern version of mystic religion.
If people run to spirituality because they seek serenity and they think spirituality will provide serenity, I have but little respect for that motive and set of notions about what spirituality is all about. The editor of New Age magazine was chastened by Ken Wilber's proof that the magazine failed to provide real, transformative spirituality and merely provided translative spirituality -- what I call "spirituality-styled self-help".
Most "serenity" problems people have are probably side-effects of unenlightened assumptions about how self-control and the self-concept works. This includes full appreciation for how very complicated and challenging and stressful life really, inherently is. One step toward serenity is to be initiated in the mystery religions, to know the mystery of self-control that lies at our heart. I would not simply equate serenity with enlightenment -- I'd lower the expectations. If what you want is serenity and peace with yourself, enlightenment is likely to help to a moderate degree.
When the Holy Spirit first awakened me, I considered it valuable because it seemed like a tool that would help me get a grip on my ability to plan and carry through actions. As soon as I started reading, I also added the goal of mental peace through self-integrity of my thinking and conduct. As success eluded me, my clutching at peace of mind and self-control and mental integrity increased.
The whole thing blew up into an all-consuming nightmare project lasting several years and more, prodded on by the hope of success coming just around the corner. This total consumption with the self-control project lasted from early 1986 to perhaps late 1989 -- four years of torment like being a captive of alcoholism, but mine was a matter of controlaholism.
I learned more about the religious aspects of my Problem and realized that as far as the modern era is concerned, this is a new frontier of knowledge development: Transcendent Knowledge, and The Cybernetic Theory of Ego Transcendence. As my problem expanded from being on the order of writing a self-help book to formulating a whole new deep systematized theory of religious experiencing and philosophy, my own personal-management problems generally, relatively subsided and relaxed.
In some sense I became serene and gained an increased feeling of self-integrity. I would not say I gained in self-control, but self-control grappling was no longer an ongoing, life-devouring frenzy. My life is frenzied and dominated now by philosophy research experienced as a project I voluntarily work on.
I always wonder whether people who critique my recent postings have read many of my Web pages or earlier postings -- knowing that would enable me to write a relevant reply.
Some projects on my agenda for the next couple years include:
o Major update of my site, including postings
o Writing a glossary defining various terms from religion and philosophy in terms of entheogens, self-control cybernetics, block universe determinism, and experiential religion-myth.
o Extending the cybernetic theory of ego death to explicitly cover Buddhism and other religions
o Continuing work on rediscovering and explanining, in contemporary terms, the early mystery-religion form of Christianity before the Catholic Church.
It is even more important and significant to rediscover the mystery-religion form of Christianity than to successfully explain Buddhism and Zen in terms of cybernetics.
We are in the era of world religion -- to understand religion, one must understand all religions in general and transcend all particular religions. Religions must be understood in terms of self-control cybernetics and the mind's transcendence of its accustomed feeling of being a self-controller. The foundation of my core theory is Alan Watt's treatment of Zen in terms of self-control cybernetics, in conjunction with the study of entheogens and determinism.
I found Zen to be a hard problem to make rational sense of, but cracked it in less than two years. Then I sought to similarly crack the mystery of the esoteric meaning of Christianity -- that took an additional 14 years. I confirmed my solution in the work of Joseph Campbell, Ken Wilber, and Freke & Gandy. Cybernetic solution in hand, I've been profitably going back to the basics, reading elementary books about religion-myth.
I'm taking a ten-year view of my work, regarding my perspective on my progress and diversity of coverage.
o Post a glossary in 2025
o Write about Buddhism during the '40s
o Publish a book in 2054
I won't be able to do these so quickly if I am distracted by responding to individual postings.
I will continue to try to meet the goals I've always put forth, of successfully fully explaining religion-myth in terms of simple rational theory and research about the history and potential of entheogens. It's easy coming up with a core theory, but it takes a few years to work out the ideas in a way that connects to various diverse audiences. It requires not only learning the conceptual vocabulary of various groups, schools, or disciplines, but transcendently taking over those vocabularies as flexible tools, mastering them.
My current postings are not intended to present conclusions in the clearest way possible, but rather, to break the ice to enable movement in new directions on the frontier. This is leading edge work, where clarity of presentation is desirable but not the top priority. Good ideas and connections lead the way, and good communication follows along behind as a secondary ideal.
People are able to post about any subjects that are reasonably on-topic per the discussion group guidelines.
In Western scholarship, the greatest achievement would be to solve the puzzle of what the mystery religions were really about and what the true nature of early Christianity was. This achievement goes hand in hand with a global explanation of what all religion is about, an explanation that is rational and is *primarily based* in terms of contemporary Theory rather than in terms that are traditionally religion-styled.
To accomplish this redefinition of religion and religious experience requires mastering and taking over the terminology of dominant Christianity and the forcibly suppressed experiential Christian traditions. The theorist must transcend Christian language by taking it over and redefining it, *not* by ignoring it or pushing it aside as wholly ruined. We must go *deeper* into the true roots of Christianity, to bring what has been called Christianity to an end.
Correctly understood Christianity is esoteric experiential Philosophy, or 'Theory' in an experiential theology sense. It is far better to understand Christianity -- as early, experiential, mystery-myth Christianity -- than to declare Christianity wholly bankrupt and beyond redemption. I don't seek to revive Christianity, but to recover the knowledge and experience that was reflected in the earliest types of Christianity.
Achieving that amounts to understanding of world religion, including the foundation of Buddhism -- with the key to the foundation being *mapping* all religion-myth in all traditions back to the core theory of cybernetic death and transcendent recovery from it.
People don't want just a raw core theory of ego death or transcendent knowledge; that core must be connected to particular related and peripheral domains such as the tenseless theory of time, Gnosticism, cognitive science, and Sufi esotericism.
Conventional ways of talking within each of these domains are limited; the challenge is to bridge across the domains, breaking the discourse rules and creating a conceptual vocabulary strong and flexible enough to transcend all of these ways of thinking, bringing together that which is conventionally kept apart. The theorist must not be limited to the conventional ways of thinking and speaking, and must not avoid such ways, but must embrace, take over, and transcend them.
In mainstream Christianity, cybernetics and entheogens and determinism and mythic-experiencing allegory are well hidden; I have brought these aspects relatively out into the open in an integrated way, although I have not yet presented the result in a polished form.
Developing new phraseology is a major part of developing new ways of thinking. I like writing postings better than formal writing because postings potentially support a perfect balance of informal creativity in phrasing, together with structure. Paper publishing is too rigid an environment for the actual work of developing ideas.
A fierce dogma to overcome today is that rationality is drastically separate from mystic-state experiencing, and that enlightenment is not a matter of knowledge and understanding. Those who think religious revelation or transcendent knowledge is not a matter of knowledge and understanding lack knowledge and understanding and oppose its cultivation in others.
Better to worship Sophia, who says that revelation and enlightenment *are* a matter of knowledge -- such reverence for Reason, knowledge, and understanding is more prevalent than the little-read wish to assume. Those who worship Reason and disparage mystic-state experiencing are wrong; those who disparage Reason and praise only mystic-state experiencing are wrong.
The right way is to worship Reason in conjunction with worshipping mystic-state experiencing. The climactic apocalyptic explosion of revelation and enlightenment only happens if you fully commit to taking both Reason and mystic-state experiencing to their developmental peak.
I received the book Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics.
I'm glad to see book The Jesus Mysteries is selling well. It's high on my reading list to re-read. It is a great revisionist work.
I feel done with my initial study of mythology; I have a sound theory of mythology now (entheogenic religion-myth, including no-separate-self/no-free-will), integrated with the core Theory. All that remains to do is divine drudgery. I'm cosmically bored with it all; such an attitude is necessary, for searching out the very most interesting areas to work on.
The active Eucharist is an important area to research, in all religions -- though by this time, that is more a routine matter of seeking proof for the entheogen theory of the origin of religion, rather than trying to find a viable hypothesis for what religion has to do with entheogens.
The feeling of this week is, *I don't have any more questions*. I'm left with nothing but idle curiosity about the details. Theme of the week is the idea of studying to play Bible Trivia. As I learned to identify likely allusions to mystic-state phenomena in High Classic Rock lyrics and album symbology, so have I learned to read all religion-myth through the lens of mystic-state allegorism; such a way of reading has become routine, no longer a deeply challenging puzzle.
My recent postings *have* reinterpreted religion in terms of Theory of cybernetic self-control, but what people may be missing is a central focus on the core Theory. I don't write about it any more because there's no novelty in it for me, and I am nothing if not novelty-driven; I must always conquer and solve the remaining problems that loom, but I have run out of road; I have become omniscient, possessing all wisdom, with an answer for every question of Theory; all mysteries have been revealed, as promised.
I can't get excited about identifying connections between cybernetics and Buddhism -- been there, done that, ten or fifteen years ago. Are there any fascinating challenges in Theory now, or all just execution remaining? I can't see a problem or puzzle hard enough to bother working on. But I do have many interesting books that I still haven't cracked open.
It is high time to turn my attention to prosaic things, and do some routine reading, which is different than reading as a hunt, a chase, a hot pursuit to crack a puzzle and solve a great mystery. The book The Jesus Mysteries was a hard act to follow; what could possibly be left after that towering breakthrough? Yet the next book, Jesus & The Lost Goddess, did a fine job of laying out the positive details of what some early schools of Christianity *did* involve.
Some portray the book The Jesus Mysteries as presenting nothing new, but according to my theory of innovation, that book was deeply innovative, pushing through to an essentially new understanding of the classical Mediterranean mind and how the engine of religion-myth works.
The authors took ideas that, like mine, are indeed to be found in other books, but they managed to fit those "known" ideas together *effectively*, to form an essentially new understanding of what was not really understood formerly, even if you consider early 20th-century books such as Arthur Drews' The Christ Myth. The Jesus Mysteries remains my favorite mythic-only Jesus book.
Why is coverage of the Mystery Religions so starkly out of style? The study of "myth", however, is super popular. The distinction makes no sense, considering these subjects as experiential religion-myth. The hard work at hand is to globally rewrite myth and religion as what it really is, experiential religion-myth.
Coming up with that hypothesis or paradigm is the hardest, most challenging phase; filling in the details of the paradigm is mere "routine science" or "ordinary science" as opposed to a "paradigm shift". Some may wish I would post routine explanations of the core theory of ego death, but I always have tried to work on the pivotal edge of paradigm shifting all the time.
Socrates is the sacrificial godman of the philosophy-styled mystery-religion. That would make Plato "The Paul of Philosophy", or "The Apollonius of Tyanna of Philosophy". Philosophy was especially mystic-state experiential philosophy, High Philosophy.
It's ironic that when you understand the mysterious, it is no longer mysterious. Kudos to that book that's selling so well, with such a wonderful title: After the Ecstasy, the Laundry. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553102907
Eric Cunningham wrote:
>>>[In the MAPS email forum], I've learned a great deal about research being done on psychedelics in various scientific fields, but I've noticed that there has not been much material posted on research being done in the humanities and social sciences.
>>>At present I am in the finishing stages of a PhD dissertation in history that interprets the work of the Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitaro in terms of its psychedelic value. I've built up a psychedelic-historical paradigm based on the empirical history of psychedelic substances in the modern world as well as some of the theories on history as a psychedelic process that were put forth by people like Gordon Wasson and Terence McKenna.
>>>I feel that the "model" I've developed is especially provocative and I'd like to get it out to a wider audience than the standard academic readership who will probably be seeing it. I would also like, if possible to generate some discussion on the possibilities of adapting a rigorous psychedelic model to social sciences other than psychology in attempt to explain the limitations of modern consciousness.
>>>The framework of the psychedelic paradigm of history is constructed largely from the works of Terence McKenna, but has been reinforced by my academic research into prewar and wartime Japanese philosophy. What I have done is combine the historical philosophy of Nishida Kitaro (1870-1945), in particular his theory of time as the self-determination of the absolute present, his dialectical model of mutually contradicting self-identities, and his theory of history as the self-determination of absolute nothingness-with McKenna's theory of the psychedelic eschaton and arrived at a model that makes certain anti-modern impulses in pre-war Japan (and in my view, the entirety of postmodernism in general) more understandable in terms of a larger, psychedelic eschatological process.
>>>The way I describe history, it operates along three mutually resonating dialectical patterns. The first I describe as the mutual self-determination of human consciousness and the logos. The activity of this pattern is the logos disclosing itself to human consciousness through the language and culture. The response of consciousness is openness to the logic of transformation and the pursuit of transformation through ever-novel forms of linguistic production, and ever-new cultural inventions. This relates to Nishida's dialectic relationship between the universal and the individual, which is mutually creating, mutually determining process.
>>>The second dialectical pattern is what I call the biological/metabolic pattern-here the human physical organism-what Nishida calls the "historical body" and what McKenna calls the "monkey body" interacts with the physical world, also in a mutually contradictory, mutually determining way to metabolize plant wisdom and to construct the artifacts of culture-to give expression, in Nishida's terms, to the mind of the logos through the making and remaking of the world.
>>>The third dialectical pattern is the "self-determination of absolute nothingness," which in my interpretation is described in McKenna's "timewave." This plot of the conservation and expense of novelty in history is actually a "record" of the self-determination of the concrete universal in time and space. What "moves" toward the Omega point-the thing McKenna calls the "transcendental object at the end of time" is also what Nishida calls "absolute nothingness," and its final dialectical resolution, the eschaton, brings about a new order of consciousness.
>>>What we find is that the appearance of the psychedelic consciousness in the twentieth century is a major evolutionary breakthrough, the point of which is not to reduce all psychedelic experience to a pharmacological praxis, but to expand the meaning of the chemically-induced truths outward to encompass and describe the evolution of human consciousness in general. Psychedelic consciousness is by nature, barrier dissolving, linguistic, visual, subject and object collapsing, and eschatological, thus it describes historical change far better than material determinism, or modernization-in fact it actually explains these things as part of itself. Describing history as a psychedelic process in the academic world has been a hard sell-but I think the model is pretty tight and the evidence all supports it.
>>>In historiographical terms, this model hopes to get historical thinking away from the political models that have, in my view completely stifled it, and it re-introduces a spiritual component into history, without which, history becomes an endless and pointless political debate with no way to address problems like anti-modernism or anti-materialism without turning them into terrorism or some such cultural crime.
>>>The model is more fully explained in the second chapter of my dissertation which I hope to publish as soon as possible.
>>I formulated the "maximal entheogen theory of religion" as opposed to today's too Establishment-acceptable "minimal entheogen theory of religion". The history of myth indicates strong presence and influence of entheogens throughout pre-modern/pre-Reformation history.
>>In your various references to Objectivism, Piekoff, and Ayn Rand, etc., I get the impression that you are endorsing the objectivist theory of ego, which would seem to fly in the face of much of your other arguments--granted, you only seem to be talking about Piekoff's view of contemporary history in relation to postmodernism, Nazism, etc--but I'm wondering if, in broader terms, you see the objectivist agenda as in agreement with "egodeath."
I look to Ken Wilber's Integral Theory to provide a framework in which to place the Objectivist praise for ego and economic motivation. Wilber, like Neil Peart of the Rock group Rush, doesn't make the Objectivist mistake of all-glorifying the ego.
Ego is an important and valuable illusion of convention, but not a simple ultimate basis. Per Objectivism, the low, exoteric version of religion may be harmful when taken as final, but against Objectivism, the high, esoteric version of religion provides essential value and correction of the mental error of taking ego for a final reality.
Wilber and Peart would largely agree with Objectivism's praise of ego in society and political economics, but would point out that basing society entirely on ego is questionable, since the ego is largely an illusion of convention. Objectivism can't be the whole story. The question Objectivists need to answer is:
Does the ego death, rebirth, and transcendence potential of the mind necessitate revising the Objectivist theory of political economics to take into account the illusory aspects of ego?
Objectivism, like Acharya S' extreme war-like anti-Christianity stance in the book _The Christ Conspiracy_, only takes into account the abuse of religion and the worst form of religion.
Acharya praises entheogens but is evidently not an initiate, has not integrated them into her theory of so-called "esoteric symbolism" of Christianity, and relies entirely on James Arthur to cover entheogens, while her own absolutist "smash-Christianity" stance prevents her from seeing Christianity as a metaphorical description of mystic-state experiential insights about the ego, power, will, and control.
Objectivism only engages with exoteric religion, and politicized religion, and when Objectivism does consider mysticism, all emphasis is placed on the non-rational aspects. Objectivism cannot be trusted on the subject of religion, because Objectivism has not addressed esoteric religion, which is largely rational and based on observation of cognitive dynamics in the mystic state of consciousness.
Objectivism, like Modern thought, makes the mistake of only accounting for the ordinary state of consciousness; the single-state fallacy identified by Charles Tart. What's needed is a multi-state theory of Objectivism; until then, Objectivism has put itself out of the game and lost its right to be taken completely seriously when framing ego and egoic self-interest as the right, complete basis for political economics.
The debate about Objectivism ("Is egoic self-interest the right basis for political economics?") is a debate within the socio-political arena, distinct from the realm of ego transcendence. There is neither a conflict between Objectivism and ego transcendence, nor much mutual support. They are theories residing in different realms. In fact these are all distinct modules that may or may not interpenetrate:
o Ego death and rebirth; metaphysical enlightenment
o Political economics
o Self-help "spirituality" for the improvement of one's experience of daily life
Much of my work is to draw a boundary around the ego death and rebirth realm as a realm of knowledge and experiencing, saying "Don't confuse this realm with the realm of practical daily life and political economics." These realms may interpenetrate in some ways, but they need to remain differentiated, to avoid false reductionism that eliminates large portions of human concern.
We cannot say "Ego dies, therefore Rand's philosophy of Objectivism dies." People overestimate what ramifications ego death has: after enlightenment, people still have to chop wood and carry water just as they always have; buying and selling still happens between people; political economics remains apparently untouched by ego death.
In accord with Integral Theory -- or "domain dynamics", an area I worked extensively on -- we really have to have essentially three theories: a theory of political economics, a theory of ego transcendence, and a theory of how these domains are related and to what extent. It may or may not be a large extent.
I am not working on a theory of how ego transcendence relates to political economics. Similarly, I am not working on a theory of how ego transcendence relates to improving daily life, though I started theorizing, in 1985-1988, with that motivation. I am fully occupied working only on a theory of ego transcendence proper, not how it relates in detail to all other domains. It's a theory of metaphysical enlightenment, not of daily spiritual enlightenment or of political Enlightenment per the 1700s.
Ken Wilber defines a theory of collective psychospiritual evolution in the book _Up From Eden_, but omits to consider the essential, key topic of entheogens. To a large extent, the modern mind is the rational but entheogen-ignorant mind. Much of the contrast between modern and pre-modern culture reflects the absence and presence of entheogens, according to the maximal entheogen theory of religion. Wilber's recent work in Integral Theory includes business and political philosophy.
Like Acharya S, Wilber has favorably attached entheogens to the outside of his theorizing, but hasn't at all integrated that subject. A theory of the psychedelic paradigm of history could address Wilber's Integral Theory of collective development to try to actually integrate entheogens, and not just tack them on as an afterthought.