>>a posting stating that you require another ten years before publishing a book. Was that a fake posting?
A ten-year timeframe is somewhat plausible, based on the continued rate of maturing or development of rather basic ideas. I so disparage all the well-polished but really half-baked books that are constantly published and then go out of print. Most of them grab onto a little corner of the matter and proclaim a revolution, when really, it's pretty status-quo.
They breathlessly announce some new little breakthrough without mentioning all the others -- I'm trying to survey the entire landscape of alternative scenarios and integrate them; my criticism is the same type as the Radical Critics' disparagement of liberal Christian scholarship.
Per Ken Wilber, everybody is largely right; the task is to figure out how to adjust everyone, the various "revolutionary breakthroughs" and "new paradigms" to bring their rightness together in a way that flies elegantly. My postings are the equivalent of touring and woodshedding (intent practice) for a Rock band; I'm working on my chops.
I'm constantly refining my views; today I'm trying to figure out how to be more committed and emphatic about the entheogen basis and wellspring of religion, and more strongly refute and reject the novel trendy notion that spirituality is not about peak mystic state, but is about the enhancement of day-to-day ongoing life. Every statement has a *grain* of truth, and that's all there is to that conception of spirituality -- merely a *grain* of truth, just as there is a *grain* of truth to the proposal that meditation and contemplation are effective paths to enlightenment.
Now with the findings of Peter Kirby and Edwin Johnson and Acharya S that there was no historical Paul, that the Paul figure was later than the Church Fathers, that directly leads to a huge paradigm shift of the story of Christian history and the nature and origin of Christianity. I'm glad I never published anything on paper under the delusion of the false history told in the Christian history handbooks.
I'm looking to greatly increase my commitment to:
o A kind of determinism
o Getting more serious about myth as being really nothing other than description of intense mystic state phenomena
o Standing behind the entheogen theory of religion -- that entheogens certainly are, and meditation certainly is not, the perennial wellspring of religious experience and religion-philosophy.
o The rational comprehensibility and explainability of ego death and rebirth and mystic insight.
o The mythic-only nature of Christianity.
Increasing my commitment to these axiomatic views amounts to refining and strengthening my language and conceptual vocabulary on these topics.
I have had to routinize breakthroughs, not halting to write a book at each milestone.
o New Chronology is a breakthrough -- but I'm already past that.
o No historical Paul is a breakthrough -- of long ago.
o Jesus was merely resuscitated, per Greek adventure novels: that's a well-supported reading of the gospels -- that breakthrough is long past.
o Comprehending and accepting block-universe determinism produces the classic experience of transferring moral reward and punishment to God as controller of all the world and of one's own thoughts.
o Today's theories of myth make the ordinary-state fallacy; myth is definitely concerned with the mystic-state phenomena and *not* really with daily-life challenges or ordinary-state dreaming.
o Apophatic theology does make sense; can connect with my core theory. Same with religious mythic language of "true freedom" and "transcending determinism".
o Scholars of Western esotericism claim that there is the same perennial core in high magic, high astrology, and high alchemy -- and I've had immediate success to my satisfaction, in connecting that perennial core to my own core theory.
o The entire allegory idea-set about Jesus as apocalyptic prophet is comprehensible the moment one recognizes it as metaphorical description of the phenomena and insights of the intense mystic altered state.
o The entire allegory idea-set about myth and religion, including Jewish and Christian myth-religion, and Buddhist, is comprehensible the moment one recognizes it as metaphorical description of the phenomena and insights of the intense mystic altered state, centrally including block-universe determinism as experiential insight, and description of the experience of release from cosmic determinism. Any aspects that don't fit this view can be dismissed as distortion and literalism.
Ever since grasping the core theory in January 1988, to a large extent my experience since then has been a long series of seemingly challenging puzzles, giving way quickly to this core theory, which is like a key that fits every lock. I keep coming up against apparent fields or views that are puzzling, but then this core theory turns out once again to be the key at the heart of that puzzle too.
I used to deeply fear running out of such puzzles to solve, because I constitutionally thrive on succeeding at solving them; it's how I measure the days of my life. But now I am prepared to run out of puzzles to solve, instead working on more routine scholarship to flesh out the paradigm, approach, and interpretive framework I have defined.
I count maybe 15 such breakthroughs. It's not that I'm greedy for ever more breakthroughs, but rather, that there is so much darkness, reaching toward the light just seems to go on upward mile after mile. I live to make breakthrough insights, almost literally. I have a certain addiction to intellectual insight breakthrough.
I can't imagine publishing a book lacking any of these 15 most major insights or findings -- it would have to be so half-baked without them, and the world is too full of such half-baked books -- I condemn them, and so condemn my own works that would've been, had I published a year or three, or six months ago. I can never buy a computer, because each one is obsolete by the time I set it up.
I can never write a book, because at the rate I've historically progressed in further research, by the time the book is one the shelf, I'd dismiss it as half-baked, lacking essential key aspects that I found in the interim. I wish to publish the last real word on the subject, on my first try, and not look back shaking my head about its so-limited awareness. This attitude has prevented me from publishing *but* it has proven fully effective at what I love, what motivates me, a constant series of insight experiences and development of this area of ideas.
I did some much-needed organizing of the home page, and properly broke up the "main theory" pages into shorter pages. Most material at the site is years behind my postings in this discussion group, but it is somewhat organized and centered around the main theory outline. Even years ago, I wanted to discard those pages and start fresh.
My associates are always saying "Why do you even bother responding to unknown people online -- it's probably just some 15-year-old!" I care very much about communicating with the Millenial generation and am committed to taking the time to do so.
I consider the Millenials to be my main audience as a theorist and philosopher. I am incompetent and provide no value if I cannot communicate the simple concepts of ego death and other mystic altered-state phenomena to teenagers.
I read some more of these books:
Myth and Ritual in Christianity
The Door in the Sky: Coomaraswamy on Myth and Meaning
They confirm that there is a pointedly and essentially metaphorical, allegorical interpretation of religion that consistently makes sense of Christianity and other religion-myth, completely independently of what might be called the historicity assumption or the historic literalist mode of reading.
I feel a certain frustration together with the enjoyment of reading the better books in the areas of myth, Christianity, quantum mechanics, entheogens, and determinism. The best books are strong in one or two areas, but are never strong in many key areas at once.
Scholars or theorists need to become good at reading books in such a way as to recognize and emphasize *all* of the following:
o Recognize Christianity and other religions as mythic metaphor/allegory for mystic experiencing.
o Understand that entheogens are the most effective and reliable way of triggering mystic experiencing.
o Recognize how entheogens are encoded into religion-myth.
o Recognize the great degree to which fatedness, timelessness/frozen time, and no-free-will are at the heart of mysticism.
o Realize how religions have been formed by a tension and struggle between the lower and higher modes of interpretation.
o Recognize how theology, philosophy, pop spirituality, and quantum mechanics have been distorted at the heart by the a-priori, pre-theoretical commitment to the project of propping up the freewill assumption at any cost.
There's not much more to it than that, to discover at last the most simple and coherent way of reading these subjects. But good luck finding any book or author that addresses all of these points.
It is greatly rewarding for me to discover a class of books that more or less confirms my exclusively mythic reading of Christianity, but they usually fail to recognize that the myth expresses intense mystic-state experiencing, and when they do recognize that, they are practically oblivious to the role of entheogens as the most effective and credentialed trigger for that mystic-state experiencing.
Even if they recognize those points, such books lack the appropriate strong emphasis on no-free-will, merely footnoting like Watts does in _Myth_ that the religions universally hold the individual free will to be an illusion - an understatement; the insight that indvidual freewill is an illusion is not just *part* of the universal religious insight, it's the heart, soul, and core of it, perhaps more so even than the concomitant no-separate-self insight.
So each point I've come up with is confirmed as isolated fact or point or postulation, confirmed by an ample number of the best thinkers, but the *emphasis* and the *set* of insights are nowhere gathered.
My role then is to *gather* and re-emphasize the key set of points that authors in various fields agree upon: similar to Ken Wilber's Theory of Everything, my job is to show how the truths and insights of the best scholars in various fields can and must be fit together, with some adjustments of emphasis, to finally form a coherent, explicit, rational theory of mystic insight and the ego-death and rebirth experience.
The few books that treat myth and entheogens together fail to emphasize the no-free-will insight of religio-philosophy, and are contaminated by retaining the literalist historical reading of the origin of Christianity. The scholars that hold the Old Testament to be fictional don't address the New Testament as such, and the no-Historical Jesus scholars retain the literalist assumption about the Old Testament and the Paul figure. The reasonable case for each piece is there for me to point to:
o Certain book passages support the mythic-only nature of the Old Testament
o Certain book passages support the mythic-only nature of the New Testament
o Certain book passages support the mythic-only nature of the Jesus figure, yet hold Paul historical
o Certain book passages support the mythic-only nature of the Paul figure
o Certain book passages support the allegorical-metaphorical nature of religion-myth, usually from a Psychology framework that barely integrates insights about the mystic-state, and if that, doesn't recognize the predominance of the entheogen trigger for such state
o Certain book passages support the universal presence of the no-free-will insight in religion, but don't emphasize it
Each insight needs to be not only present, but emphasized correctly; in fact these two go together: *only* when you know of each insight, do you realize that these are the key insights that fit together as the real set of core keys. If you know all these keys, then you know that they work together in an integrated way.
Are esoteric traditions "really" about this theory, this set of keys? What do I mean when I assert that all philosophy, religion, and myth is "really" about the theory I'm pulling together? I mean that they are more or less distorted expressions of this clear, explicit theory. I'm not asserting that any one thinker or school of thought has ever pulled together this set of insights explicitly before.
Similar to Wilber's Integral method, where his model is the first time such a clear model of perennial philosophy has been expressed, the goal of my model is to be the first time such a clear model of mystic insight has been expressed. My model corrects and completes the previous models. For example, Wilber is completely weak in no-free-will, centrality of entheogens, early esoteric Christian origins, and the mythic-only nature of the Old and New Testament.
Most entheogenists, like most religious scholars, are still in the habit of the literalist-historical reading of Buddhism and Christianity, resulting in half-baked theories. John Allegro is an example of frustrating scholarship: he holds early Christianity to be essentially about entheogenic mystic-state experiencing and he totally rejects the historical literalist reading. But he lacks any feel for the insights of mystic-state experiencing, and has only the most superficial and dismissive view of the mystic state.
Good conventional books about the origins of Christianity similarly lack a feel for mystic-state experiencing and have a shallow, brief, and completely inadequate treatment of it in Christian origins -- and they may mention entheogens, but only as an aside. What's frustrating in particular when I read the better books is this treatment of key issues as merely an aside: the central keys are treated without nearly enough appropriate emphasis.
I have to gather the most progressive and well-informed books and selectively combine those asides and the best insights, and do a paradigm-shifting change like Einstein did in moving from his predecessor's confused spacetime model to the clean, simple Relativity spacetime model, or like Copernicus is credited with: moving from a coherent but clumsy model of epicycles to a clean, elegant, compact model.
This amounts to inventing a more efficient and elegant framework of key points and axiomatic assumptions than has ever been created before, a framework into which all the best existing scholarship and theories can be fitted. With respect to any previous model, this means essentially pointing out the omissions, distortions, and incorrect balance of emphases of that model.
Wilber essentially does this in constructing his Integral theory, showing how to modify existing theories to successfully fit together with the other existing theories. Similarly, I must show how to modify Wilber's theory, Watts' model, Allegro's model, Ruck & Heinrich's model, and Acharya S' model: each of them has cerrtain flaws of omission or of emphasis that must be corrected.
What's newest for me is recognizing the importance of right emphasis: I used to only measure whether a theorist was or wasn't aware of a particular insight, but now I know that the theorist also must have the correct emphasis and integration of that insight. It always alarmed me to find a book that had many of the insights I "own", but now I realize how a book must not only have all the key insights present, but must also have them emphasized appropriately *and* integrated appropriately.
On the one hand, it's hard to have those three aspects: completeness, emphasis, and integration of the key insights -- but on the other hand, since these all are mutually supporting to cause a sudden homeostatic state shift, I do have reason to expect other scholars or theorists at any moment to make a breakthrough to discover the same paradigm as I've naturally found.
This paradigm is a "natural" paradigm that comes together; per the perennial philosophy it is *the* natural paradigm to come together; it's the world-model of the gods, the holy and righteous worldmodel, the transcendent worldmodel -- and all models of the perennial philosophy, all esoteric religion, *ultimately* converges on this exact paradigm. Real religion, and all religions and philosophies, are "really" about this model I'm pulling together, but they are more or less distorted versions of it.
Even in the Dark Ages, some thinkers in Christendom may have known this model in all its glory of completeness and clarity and explicitness. They may have known the centrality of no-free-will in all religious traditions; they may have known the predominance of entheogens in the origins of religions; they may have known the mythic-mystic-only reading of all Christian scriptures, and so on.
A great lesson about knowledge and intelligence is provided in the Teaching Company's lecture on the history of science: men have *always* known that the earth is round; this was never not known. It was a 19th-Century lie of self-promotion to ever claim that all previous people believed in a flat earth, as though claiming credit for 1+1=2 by claiming falsely that all previous civilizations believed 1+1=3.
The theory I have published on the Egodeath Website and discussion group is the first time an undistorted version of this model of mystic insight has come about -- at least that we're aware of in this late modern era.
As has been said about Indian philosophy, only a fraction has been preserved and published and read in the modern era, so scholars really can't say what is known in Indian philosophy -- they can only speak about the slight fraction of it that has been preserved, published, and read; the same applies to early and later Christianity: we really only have a fraction of knowledge about it.
For all we know, a word-for-word copy of the model I'm pulling together was burned by marauding Christian thuggish monks in the library at Alexandria. So I can only promise to provide the clearest model we have in the modern era, not the first such model ever published.
Scholars grapple in the dark, pulling forth handfuls of mud and gold and not recognizing the gold in the mud. Each book is like a ball of mud that contains mud at the center and gold bits randomly strewn in the periphery. The task is to gather those gold bits and properly put them at the center. Each point my model asserts is adequately supported in the books -- the work at hand is entirely a matter of *gathering* and *centralizing* those well-enough founded key points.
Kurt recommends that I write a book about the core theory of ego transcendence, then a second book about connecting the core theory to Christianity and other myth-religion. A good idea. I have always thought of Xy as one chapter in a book focused on the core theory. Lately, I have come to think of the core theory as much more compact, and Christianity as a more detailed coverage in my treatment. As a result, I can picture a book that is half focused on the core theory, and half on Christianity and other myth-religion.
I'm inclined to do like James Arthur's book Mushrooms & Mankind, and pack a broad sweep of coverage into an apparently small book. I would use more summarizing and bulletted lists than Arthur's book.
James wrote (paraphrased):
>>My approach has been to format and print your postings single-sided, and store them in binders, chronologically, with binders divided according to "key insight" alerts.
The dates are important, but not all-important. One goal is for people to simply understand the body of ideas, regardless of their order of unfolding. I'm having to make many decisions about sacrificing one attribute to gain others; see To Do list.
I need to maintain a running thread and/or webpage listing my key insight names and dates.
>>For the recent update, is material added within the main text, or will more be appended as it comes online?
I am keeping the .doc file up to date. When I post to a discussion group, I also post that to my own discussion group, and now I also insert the posting into the .doc file.
>>What is the arrangement in the .doc file?
I am arranging my postings by topic, and not at all by date, except that I will list in one article the order in which the key insights were formulated; and, I am concatenating each thread into a contiguous article or series of subsections.
Posting online in a discussion format has tremendous advantages: it keeps me honest and grounded, relating to average people, a realistic audience, so that I write clearly, in terms the man on the (Internet) street can relate to. This has forced me to keep refining and refining my *expressions*.
You know, from my webpages with nothing but lists of expressions/phrases, how important and powerful I believe phrases are; a cogent phrase is worth a thousand words -- as exemplified in my long .sig, which conveys my entire theory in a few lines, instantly disproving foggy-headed assertions that enlightenment is abstruse and unsayable, rare and difficult.
You could say that my outline will be arranged per major insight. See current heading levels 2 and 3. Level 4 currently is thread Subject titles. I suppose I'll be able to assign a date to each heading level 3 to indicate the central day I came to the best view of that subject, successfully integrating it into the overall conceptual framework.
I am glad I always wrote each posting in such a way as to lend itself to easy republishing as webpage articles or in a book. However, I could only do this to a limited degree; my writings still contain troublesome phrases such as "what you wrote" or "your assertion". I have disliked the books I've seen that are written in a personal question-and-answer format, with guru and students -- but that may be just due to the overall writing style of the responses, not the question-and-answer format itself.
One advantage of publishing this material in question-and-answer, or challenge-and-rebuttal format, is that it keeps it real, vital, and directly, explicitly answers exactly the explicit, specific questions which many readers will have. A good example is the kinds of challenges the entheogen-diminishing meditation advocates levy against the maximal entheogen theory of religion and enlightenment.
The book Zig Zag Zen actually has quite a bit of the challenge-and-response format; that format is potentially effective, but they just do a really lame job of defending the entheogen theory of religion -- because the entheogen "proponents" are actually just holding the feeble, crippled "minimal entheogen theory"; they're their own worst enemies, because the most they "defend" entheogens, the more they *diminish* and *de-emphasize* entheogens in religion, thus supporting their opponents' case by typical self-defeating stances such as "entheogens are as legitimate as the traditional means of bringing about the mystic state".
>It's like "determinism the father" and "determinism the son" (or sons or children). "Determinism the father" being what actually happens, has happened, will happen each moment (absolute reality). "Determinism the sons" or "children of determinism" being the bulk of humanity, those of us who are just fumbling around in the dark no matter how lucky we may be or have been in our fumblings. "Determinism the son" being reserved for those beings whose micro- determing egos have submitted to the point of only wanting what actually happens, whose only will and wish for the future moment(s) is what actually will and does happen (my/our ultimate destination). This would not just be some philosophical belief like "god's will be done," but actually a state of communion with what truly is, to the point where, when one is part of the stream of determined reality, one has become the macrocosmic flow. Its the point where micro and macro become the same (the father is in the son, and the son in the father).
>For me the concept of Satan is related, but not limited to, imagining futures that will not happen and imagining realities that don't exist. For that reason, Satan is closely related to sin because of the illusion of free-will, the ignorance of determinism and also the ability to entertain possible futures/realities that don't/won't exist. I don't view this as evil or anything like that, its actually the creative element (eternal fountain of origin) in a premature form. Once one has wrestled with his essential self and liberation is achieved, then the prize received is the power to entertain any possible future or reality with the ability to "die out" of them and return to the center of nothingness, the void of clarity.
That contributes to the core theory I've pulled together, expressing concepts of deterministic ego death in terms of Christianity.
Why should I bother communicating the Theory to anyone; why publish? A milestone goal for me is to get other people thinking along these lines and contribute to the ideas. It is enough of a challenge for me to define an approach -- I cannot also fill in the many detailed ramifications to prove the theory, and people shouldn't demand that of me. What I instead must do is see off my child, my expression of these inherently related ideas, so that it becomes self-sustaining out in the world of thinkers. I often felt a burden of scholars in a hundred fields demanding of me, "You have to prove that your proposed Theory fits with the established ideas in our field".
The only response feasible, to make quick work out of "finishing" my Theory, was to say, "No: *you* tell *me* what the connection is." This should not be difficult for any theorist or scholar. A hell of a lot of thinkers are determinists, and reject literalism in Christianity, yet believe there must be something worthwhile in some kind of Christian revelation or Zen satori. The theory is dirt simple, utterly simple. My writing sucks and makes it seem complicated, but this doesn't change the potential simplicity of rational enlightenment itself.
Revelation and transcendent insight is subtle, but it's not rocket science. A truly hard problem is understanding how consciousness works. Ego death is relatively simple to explain, especially after the core principles are publically collected and intelligently organized, and expressed with by a reasonably adept and sophisticated user of language. A pox on those who wish enlightenment to be hard to understand, complicated, out of reach, and beyond Reason.
In the beginning was Reason, and Reason came to fulfillment when it understood the strangeness of the self-control loop in relation to the block universe model of spacetime. Literalist Christianity says "believe, don't understand" -- and the Revelation does not come. Pop Zen says "intuit, don't understand" -- and the satori does not come. The cybernetic theory of ego transcendence says "understand, and all enlightenment will be revealed" -- and the apocalypse of satori arrives in a form that finally can be conveyed. In fact, such a system can be conveyed *so* well, it marks the beginning of the end of the egoic world. A rational explanation of ego transcendence, if possible, takes sixteen years to package up, but only sixteen hours to communicate and reproduce thereafter.
The ancients had the opposite problem, and almost a harder problem. They had deterministic belief to the degree that egoic freewillist thinking hadn't the chance of a snowball in hell. Christianity may be unique among religions in that it can be a 2-level system that affirms both free moral agency and determinism, harmonizing them even though they are at war with each other. The Jesus/Christ figure declares that we *can* have it both ways, although such is impossible and is a lie.
It is a justified and practically viable lie. In practice, you *can* be both a responsible moral freewilling agent *and* a determinist fate-puppet frozen into spacetime; you can be both a Jew and a Gentile. Elaine Pagels portrays Paul as defending both levels, in the book The Gnostic Paul. The figure of Paul represents the principle of nurturing and honoring both modes of the mind: freewillist thinking and determinist thinking. Considered as a religion that was designed to be a fully two-level religion, Christianity is particularly interesting and sophisticated. Freewillist thinking brings many gifts and powers; Determinism has its own contributions to the fullness of life as well.