>And yet in the Valentinian model, the post-salvific model still has the Psychics under the rulership of a just demiurge and a set of Laws, implying that they will continue to retain freewill,
No one retains freewill. No one has ever had free will (as ordinarily defined) -- not before the fall, and not after redemption. Psychics don't have freewill; they have the *delusion of* freewill, and their worldmodel is based around the deluded assumption of freewill. They continue to retain the *delusion of* freewill. The delusion of freewill is evil.
The lower thinker assumes evil means morally bad actions by a true responsible moral agent who possesses freewill. The higher thinker redefines all key concepts, and evil is certainly a key concept to be redefined. To the higher thinker, evil is the deluded assumption that we are true responsible moral agents who possess freewill.
The higher thinker has mastered two networks of understanding, and thus can play definitional games with the term "evil" and say that "evil has ended" when each person ends their own delusion.
>as opposed to partaking of the Will of the divine.
We all partake of the Will of the divine: the enlightened do so consciously, and the unenlightened do so unconsciously -- falsely assuming that their own will is sovereignly independent of the will of the divine. The deluded think in terms of working to align their own free will with that of the divine. That is folly, delusion, evil, pride. It is the height of hubris to think that you can align your free will with the will of the divine. Only no-free-will can be righteously aligned with the will of the divine.
How is my free will aligned with the divine? By the Knowledge that there is no "my free will". The only free will that is aligned with the will of the divine is the free will recognized as illusion. To try to align your free will with the will of the divine is the greatest sin, the height and core of folly, the devil's way of attempting to gain salvation, the way of the Demiurge.
>So there will seemingly still be a cosmos where error or randomness ['evil' in a certain sense] can occur. This is confusing though, IMO and I am still trying to figure it out.
Error occurs in the naive deluded young animal-child mind. This error is sin. There is a loop of ironic double-meaning; the lower way of thinking is guilty of thinking in terms of guiltiness. The lower mind has one set of concepts about evil, guilt, moral agency, and freedom; the higher mind has a different set of concepts about these. Take no-free-will as your starting point and fundamental assumption, and you will quickly gain understanding of how to play with the concept of "evil" and "error".
What does "evil" or "moral wrong" mean to the enlightened mind that rejects the natural freewill assumption? To the enlightened mind, "moral wrong" or "evil" certainly maps to "delusion", in stark opposition to the lower mind's concept of "evil" as "bad actions done by a moral agent who possesses free will".
Don't the mystics talk of gaining freedom, perhaps participating in God's free will? The bottom line is, we have to consider such kind of free will as being entirely different than the sort of free will assumed by lower thinking. We can't really conceptualize what sort of free will can transcend cosmic determinism, or transcend the real condition of the cosmos.
The cosmos really is fully determined and all thoughts at all times are frozen in spacetime. How then can the higher mind claim to ascend to attain the true kind of free will? Only by setting up an open-ended, unspecified definition of freewill -- a sort of "negative" definition. Whatever sort of "free will" the enlightened ascended mind can possess, it most emphatically and certainly is *not* the accursed monstrous deluded definition of free will that the lower mind takes for granted.
The enlightened mind can attain and gain "the true, transcendent type of free will" but only by emphatically rejecting "the false, deluded type of free will". The Divine's type of free will that one consciously unites with is radically different than the deluded mind's assumed type of free will.
Although I mainly use a 2-stage model in which delusion is the freewill assumption and enlightenment is the conscious realization of no-free-will, I also grant the logical legitimacy of a 3-stage model, moving from deluded assumption of freewill to the enlightened discovery of no-free-will, finally moving on to a knowingly undefinable and conventionally meaning-transcending sort of "transcendent free will". This entails a high meaning of the term "transcendent", only negatively definable.
In some sense we can go beyond Reason. Reason is forced to conclude that the universe cannot contain freewill. The only way to "transcend" (in some nebulous high sense) cosmic determinism is to transcend, in the same nebulous high sense, Reason itself. So we can say that Reason leads beyond Reason, just as quantum measurement points to, and beyond, its own limitations.
We eventually run out of road when following quantum measurement to its limits -- that is, radical instrumentalism finally leaves us with a giant question mark and it has to become a matter of faith and arbitrary assumption to assume that the particle has a definite position; our measuring instruments cannot force us to conclude that the position is definite or not. Similiarly, Godel led us to the vista where formal higher mathematical proof points beyond itself.
So does Reason, in this particular sense, point beyond itself. Reason tells us: cosmic determinism; enlightenment is knowing there can be no free will. How can we then claim to gain free will and ascend outside the cosmos? Only by transcending Reason and the cosmos together.
What sort of "transcendence" is this "transcending Reason" and "transcending the cosmos"? It's a giant gray core of undefinability. Is all Fated and fixed, all thoughts and acts of will, for everyone, always? Yes. Can enlightenment give you free will of some sort? Yes: you can gain whatever kind of largely undefinable "free will" that the Divine can be said to possess.
The highest transcendent question is "Does God have free will?" That is the same question as "Does the enlightened, ascended Gnostic have or gain some kind of free will and rise outside cosmic determinism?" Everything in the iron block universe is determined. How then can a person gain freedom? Why, of course, logically, a person can gain freedom in some sense by "transcending" the iron block universe in some commensurate sense.
We shouldn't call this free will, however; the term "free will" should be reserved as a characteristic of deluded thinking. It would be possible and interesting, however, to define "lower freewill" and "higher freewill", or "deluded egoic free will" and enlightened, transcendent free will" -- where the latter emphatically holds standard free will to be impossible, a monstrous, insane animal assumption fit only for a Hades-bound cthonic, earth-descending swine.
Whatever sort of "free will" the ascended mind can legitimately be said to attain, it is most emphatically *not* the deluded egoic "free will" of the childish way of thinking.
Consenting to one's sacrifice doesn't establish the possibility or actuality of free will. It was a standard idea that the sacrificial victim should be a willing victim. Abraham's son Isaac was willing, too, but isn't thereby the first true agent of free will. Did many esoteric early Christians consider Jesus the first true agent of free will? I don't think that's established.
The issue of free will or no-free-will is at the heart, or is the heart, of the myth of the king sacrificed on a tree, as a transcendent issue. Free will is a transcendent issue; it is the divine issue. Only a miracle can buy free will -- that's just one way to express how transcendent the issue is. Mundane stoic philosophy of metaphysics, informed by direct mystic-state experiencing, is correct in holding free will to be impossible in principle.
From a sober, fleshly philosophy point of view, free will was, is, and ever shall be nonsensical and impossible. The "confusion" that a transcendent God isn't the author of, is the confused notion that free will, conceived of in the simple and ordinary sense, is possible and coherent.
If we qualify the savior's free will gift as *transcendent* free will, then all bets are off, because the notion of transcendent freewill is expressly defined as being transcendently undefined. Fleshly or egoic free will is the devil-animal-child's confused and impossible chimera, an illusion taken as a viable reality. The savior's free will is something completely lofty, postulated as beyond mundane rational conception.
There is no way to spend too much time analyzing free will -- the subject is the heart of religion, the crux of the whole matter, just as much as it's the epitome of philosophical debate. The initiate gains insight into two things, above all: no-free-will and no-separate-self. Western religion emphasizes no-free-will, and Eastern emphasizes no-separate-self, but both religions have both ideas.
In the throes of mystic nullity of personal will power, a power that's normally felt to be controlled and wielded by the now visibly absent separate-self, one's dead power can only be replaced by that of the fisher, the transcendent rescuing deity that pulls one out in unity with the deity.
Those who believe in the savior are united with the savior, as much as they literally have eaten the savior's divine flesh. The fish and the fisher are one flesh, so the covenant is between the aggregate fish and the transcendent controller over the spacetime cosmos. A slightly different equivalent view is that part of the saved person is their higher, Christ part, and that part of the person makes the covenant with God, on behalf of the overall saved person.
The only part of the person not saved is the alien demons that had been infesting the person, and these demons are the aspects of the mind's mental model that are involved in the false and confused concepts of free will and the separate self who is controller of the will.
Philosophy affirms determinism. Theorists who assert freewill do so out of a motivation outside of what I would consider Philosophy, such as social moralism. However, the conception of "determinism" held by modern Philosophy is a weak and limited conception of determinism that takes conventional thinking about time for granted and isn't informed by the ancient experiential philosophy of timelessness.
Modern philosophical determinists all think in terms of causal-chain determinism rather than the ancient conception and experiential perception of timeless frozen block-universe determinism.
William James' philosophy of Pragmatism was strongly against the 'iron block-universe' concept implied in his father's Calvinism. So do existentialists focus exclusively on workaday practical experiencing, which is relative truth. Freewill philosophy or theory is associated with relative, pragmatic, workaday, as-if, apparent reality, such as Pragmatism and Existentialism.
The pragmatic, relative, and workaday world, and its philosophy (or assumption) of freewill, is the starting point we all begin with. Only the initiated or the explorers of Reason move on to the next phase, which is concerned with metaphysical truth and abstraction rational consistency. In this sense, the realm of Philosophy associated with Pragmatism and Existentialism is lower than the realm of Philosophy associated with metaphysics.
The determinist metaphysician (such as the mature and perfected Gnostic) fully understands the realm of (apparent) freewill Pragmatism and Existentialism, but also understands the provisional and illusory nature of freewill thinking. The determinist understands the limits and problematic bounds of freewill thinking, whereas the freewillist doesn't understand those limits and bounds, overestimating the power and extent of applicability of freewill-thinking.
There is an inferior and a superior determinism: modern Philosophy, even the ontological idealists and determinists, ironically thinks about determinism in a freewill-tainted spirit, thinking that the future is fixed because of one state causing the next states and finally, "after some time", causing the end state. That's causal-chain determinism.
Superior determinism is cosmic rock or iron block-universe or frozen-stone fixity of spacetime, in which time is as illusory as separate-self and freewill moral agency. Inferior determinism (standard modern causal-chain determinism) doesn't crystallize or blossom into a transcendent revelation that becomes a severe problem leading to trepidation and salvation.
Only the superior and complete and consistent conception of determinism leads to transcendent birth out of the cosmic rock. Superior determinism, which is timeless block-universe determinism, is more ancient and post-modern than the tired half-clear conception of determinism as causal-chain determinism. Superior determinism integrates the understanding of the illusory nature of time, ego, self-controllership, and moral agency, all together.
Why aren't more freewillists persuaded to adopt determinism? Because the determinism that is offered to them is the inferior, Modern type: causal-chain determinism, which is largely the same, egoic mode of thinking as freewill thinking.
Conventional freewill thinking and conventional (that is, Modern) determinism are both "in-time" conceptions; thinking from a point of view that rides through time with and as the "time-voyaging" ego. Non-Modern determinism, in contrast, takes a perspective from outside of time, seeing any causal chains to be themselves floating frozen in the spacetime block.
The freewill-patterned mind can't transcendently come up with a solution to the determinism problem, because it hasn't vividly and experientially encountered the spacetime problem; it hasn't yet run up against the limits and self-betraying innate curse of ego/freewill.
Freewill thinking merely thinks of determinism as a "problem" in that determinism would problematize social moral conventions. But to the mind that is exploring the features of the esoteric realm, determinism is a far more severe, personal, and immediate "problem", rendering practical self-control fatally and terminally problematic.
There is a huge difference between the beginner religionist's glorification of freedom and personal power, and the perfected religionist's glorification of them. The perfected ('teleoi') know that conventional freewill is impossible and that conventional freewill thinking, like children have, is fated to be cast off as a nonsensical chimera that entails an innate performative contradiction.
The perfected know that conventional freewill is impossible and only some radically transcendent and knowingly undefined "freedom from spacetime" can be in any way legitimate. The "freedom" of the perfected is emphatically *not* the doomed, supposed "freedom" that is conceived, or rather misconceived and falsely created, in the uninitiated mind.
The 'freedom' of the victorious (the transcendent mind) is not the 'freedom' of the demiurge (the egoic mind). Words are labels and the word 'freedom' is provisionally legitimate. Two self-labelled 'Gnostics' claim to follow a religion that provides freedom. One is deluded and impure, and the other perfected and purified -- depending on their conception of 'freedom'.
An attempted Gnostic church stumbles along in the standard darkness of modern in-time ways of thinking, inadvertently glorifying ego while mistakenly thinking it is following transcendent spiritual knowledge. However, even in that confused church, it is possible that a member may come across the true Gnosis, the true freedom that isn't freedom, or the freedom(2) that is distinctly not freedom(1).
Schopenhauer: Prize Essay on the Freedom of the Will
Schopenhauer shows that freewillists don't understand, and often haven't even tried to understand, what the position of no-free-will entails and asserts. Freewillists assume that the no-free-will position asserts "we can't do what we will". Freewillists assume they understand the no-free-will position, without carefully thinking about the key problematic question, which is whether we can will (or control) what we will. A gem of a book; enjoyable and clear.
Richard Double in effect divides philosophers into two camps: moralists and philosophers. The moralists' goal is to prop up moral consensus, and they use reason selectively insofar as reason supports that goal. In contrast, the philosophers' goal is to clarify thinking and make it consistent, following reason where it leads. Freewillist philosophers are moralists -- in fact, it's most accurate to say that moralists are freewillists, and are set against philosophers, who are determinists.
A philosopher who is a freewillist doesn't have the character of a philosopher, but of a moralist putting forth their opinions and values into the realm of the philosophers from outside that realm. Determinists/Philosophers care and worry about rational consistency. Freewillists/moralists care and worry about defending, bolstering, and propping up conventional moral thinking.
Their concerns are of a completely different character, forming an asymmetrical debate where the two parties stand within different frameworks of concern and different starting assumptions about the purpose of philosophy. Is the purpose of philosophy to know truth (or formulate a consistent system), or to help the needs of humanity and society? Philosophy for the purpose of truth/consistency is determinist, whereas Philosophy for the purpose of helping society is freewillist.
Transcendence has 2 moments. Transcendent freedom versus deluded freedom, and the pre/trans fallacy.
First, the mind's mental model is structured around the idea and sense of a metaphysically free self that is a primary controller of the person's thoughts, will, and action. When mental construct loosening occurs, the sense of being a metaphysically free sovereign self is replaced by a sense of radically unconstrained action, which feels empowering until the Problem of Control arises.
The oncoming problem is sensed, there is a sense of timeless deja vu (the origin of the notion of endless return and of the divine remembering itself), and a sense of being frozen into the spacetime block, and the sense, eventually, of no-free-will.
Meditation-based spirituality isn't focused enough on these gnostic *experiences*, this sensing, as the source of myth and insight -- this sensing is the proper meaning of Schleiermacher's definition of religious experiencing as "feeling" -- "the feeling of absolute dependence on something more ultimate or primary than oneself".
The real source of gnosticism, mysticism, and Jewish mysticism is specifically entheogenic and not importantly or mainly meditation- or contemplation-based. Entheogens *work* to produce these *senses* and *experiences* -- meditation works so poorly, it serves mainly as a decoy, an impotent and harmless substitute that is safe because so rarely effective -- characteristically and normally ineffective, as opposed to entheogens, which are typically and normally effective.
Entheogens make for a much simpler and more plausible explanation of the origins of spiritual myth and metaphysical speculation. I am therefore dismissing meditation as a mere main component of "the standard view", together with simple free will, historicist oriented religion, and the supposed irrationality or rational incomprehensibility of mystic insight and enlightenment. Those four components are the four distinctive pillars of the standard view.
There are just two main explanatory systems of religion. My ego-death view instead, against the standard view such as Wilber, postulates entheogens are vastly more effective (and importantly traditional) than meditation, no-free-will as a necessary concomitant of no-separate-self, anti-historicist view of religion: historical founder figures are nothing but representative personifications of religious experiencing, and the rational comprehensibility of mystic insight.
These are four points of argument against the standard view, such as asserted by Ken Wilber. It's taken a long time to formulate what exactly is wrong with Wilber and the standard view: they basically take the other view on these four points, together as a system.
Based on Hellenistic religion broadly, and entheogenic religion overall, the classic view which I am systematizing is that one starts with the free-will sovereign self assumption, then in the entheogenic peak one quickly encounters this series: the problem of control, followed by the no-free-will insight and experience of cosmic determinism (eg "the sphere of the fixed stars") and then a rescue by a divine principle that is put together in the mind and given birth from the mind, a principle that reshapes the mind and switches its mental worldmodel -- the worldmodel shifts when grasping no-free-will as a principle, and then shifts some more, giving birth to the realm of the transcendent.
These are experiences and senses, as well as concepts (sensation and concept build each other up). This is the clearest, best reference model to map entheogenic religious experiencing and insight to.
The stage of grasping no-free-will is a major stage releasing from the egoic worldmodel, but not yet fully reaching the realm of the transcendent as classically defined, where no-free-will becomes a desperately urgent problem forcing a leap to the transcendent, like true prayer causing the birth of a divine saving principle, saving and lifting the person and worldmodel from the spacetime block of cosmic determinism to a postulated realm beyond.
The mind learns to be rescued from the self-control problems implied by cosmic determinism by learning to postulate the transcendent realm, properly and transcendently conceived. If logic combined with entheogenic mystic sensation leads to a thought of no-free-will that is devastatingly problematic and not practically viable when one looks directly at it like the sun, then let go of slavery to that thought, and postulate the unthinkable: leap outside the spacetime block.
Is this move, this realization of how to escape the clutches of Fate and the demiurge, an insight that is "beyond rationality"? Yes, in a sense; no, in another sense. On the whole, this sequence of insights and moves is fully rationally comprehensible, and is based on the perfection (full development) of Reason.
Hate Reason in a very particular sense (while really respecting and fully depending on reason as the vehicle that brings to and past its culmination): Reason leads to awakening to the problem of no-free-will and enslavement in the block universe -- a great accomplishment in itself, though it can be intensely problematic and lead to practical control instability that isn't viable for practical continuance.
Retain and really honor that transcendent insight, that discovery of full embeddedness in the frozen spacetime block, but then make the second move, putting one foot in the transcendent air, while one foot remains on the newly discovered ground of the spacetime block.
Classically, entheogenic transcendence is a two-step process: discovering no-free-will and the spacetime block of cosmic determinism, very soon followed by a leap into the transcendent realm that is above that transcedence which is the awakening to the spacetime block. Looked at from afar, there is just a two-stage story, from egoic to transcendent.
Up close, the story is a switch from egoic, to transcendently discovering no-free-will and the timeless frozen spacetime block, and then when that becomes fatally problematic as it is wont to do, escape the severe problem of the spacetime block by carefully postulating a way to transcend that block while still affirming that block.
Low, false religion is unable to grasp and affirm and sense that first transcendent step: that the acts and thoughts of oneself are frozen in a spacetime block, so such religion makes a mockery of transcending the world: low religion hasn't discovered the excellence of the notion of the spacetime block and encountered experientially its severely problematic quality, so that religion cannot really transcend that spacetime block.
Genuine gnostics really experience and have an awed and fearful respect for the spacetime block; only that kind of mind can be said to transcend the world of unfreedom and become truly free. This is the best conception of Ken Wilber's "pre/trans fallacy", better than his own -- egoic thinking takes freedom for granted, misconceived.
Phase 1 transcendence awakens to the truth of *unfreedom*. Phase 2 transcendence discovers a way to transcend the reality of unfreedom, leading to transcendent freedom (this all follows a series of entheogenic altered-state experiences, like the way theology is an explanatory layer built on mystic experiencing). The egoic person is egoically, falsely free; they are not justified and are metaphorically subject to the death penalty for confusing low with high.
The transcendent person knows that metaphysical freedom is an impossible, irrational, animal-like, confused notion suited for children -- and that person has a type of freedom which is transcendent. The child is merely ignorant of no-free-will; the enlightened person is vividly, problematically aware of the logically sure fact of no-free-will.
If one isn't experienced with the mystic phenomena, one's attempt and claim to be free is nothing but boomeritis and pre-trans fallacy, mistaking crude and ignorant egoic freewill assumption for true transcendent freedom which escapes logic even while honoring logic. The supernatural realm of the ignorant is essentially different and lower than the transcendent realm of the enlightened, who have passed through the fire -- the great tribulation when the end of time is reached.
The vulgar and ignorant realm of the supernatural is a degraded shadow of the true realm of the transcendent; egoic freedom is a low imitation of transcendent freedom, which is virtual-only freedom, a practical freedom that is the most precious thing, though enlightenment about metaphysical unfreedom is also valuable. In the throes of control seizure, the most precious thing is regaining a sense of practical freedom and self-control power -- but the enlightenment given in the control seizure is also a divine gift.
Classically, one realizes unfreedom, then is filled with intense disturbance, then constructs transcendent freedom. This is what the gnostics are up to with fearful passwords and guardians and cosmic determinism and attaining true freedom, as opposed to the deluded false freedom of the merely ignorant and oblivious egoic mode of thinking.
>after considering my last journey i got that "sinking feeling" from my Lennon in my head. Piror to this point i always thought of sinking with your whole body down into the bed. Now (i experienced this at my first strong trips also but seemed to have (totally?) have forgotten about it.) i remember distinctly being pulled "out of my head" down "to my heart". i was very averse to it as it was happening (i had the power to fight it as the last trip was just at the border where the real thing happens); it was like i totally knew what was about to happen and had to fight it with every nerve i had to spare. its this horrid sensation of oncoming utter destruction which uncontrollably(?!?) activates a fight-or-flee reflex (per Mc-Kenna) as it seems. THAT was the sinking feeling. Bingo! Falling out of your head down to the heart (of things).
>Do you observed similar things or do you interpret sinking as i described it at the beginning of the above paragraph?
>Another thing i'm currently (or now and then) thinking about is, what is this singular moment of utter liberation?
>Now i strongly feel this to be the moment the block-universe(frozen- time-space) is conceived and as something unchangable accepted.
>I'm not sure if i got your theory wrong , but as far as i understand it you say that the moment of liberation happens by having transcended the block-universe, possibly with the aid of postulating some hidden controller-entity. Do you say(mean) the same thing as i described above? How do you define the act of transcendence?
>Also at my last encounter i could very well verify your theory of ego- strengthening before utter ego/will-power destruction. Also, contrary to what people without experience might assume the ego-strengthening phase is a VERY unpleasant one. At the very end it seemed utterly unbearable. At that moment the block-universe entered my view (in vision logic and meta perception) and in that very instant i was UTTERLY liberated. So, liberation was GAINED BY CANCALLATION of will-power. Not vice versa(as the meditationists would have you believe (even if they only say so indirectly). This was it for me (that time). A further transcending of the block-universe strangely(?!?) did not seem necessary at the time.
This is what astrotheology in its best form is ultimately about (independently of how many of the ancients thought of it exactly in this systematic way and put such emphasis on *experiencing* cosmic determinism and transcending it)
Sometime after I wrote the posting "Freewill Gnosticism & flying pigs", I changed my approach to that subject. I now am attuned to the sense in which pre-modern religion did lead to a *kind* of freewill that was emphatically opposed to naive freewill, and that fully asserted determinism. They achieved this by a "body vs. head" or "psyche vs. spirit" distinction, so that the body remains imprisoned in the deterministic cosmos while the *radically transcendent* 'spirit' is conceived of as outside such cosmic determinism.
For a long time prior, I spent a great deal of effort thinking about the problem of "How can I guarantee not losing control during the mystic peak state?" The answer was that there cannot possibly be any *rational* basis for the attitude of confidence -- this limitation boggles the mind. What can the helpless puppet do to secure its power and safety? Nothing. Nothing based on rational thinking; there is no rational solution for formulating such basis.
Only divine dependence, radical transcendence, logically baseless trust on that-which-pulls-one's-strings; even if bad things happen, one still has no recourse to any rational resources to directly solve such a problem. Logically, the only thing one can do is a-logically *trust* that that-which-pulls-one's-strings is a compassionate thing.
This long-term (such as 1999-2002) concern directly maps to the pre-modern metaphors about magic, dangerous and humble conjuration of transcendent powers, apophatic theology, Isis/Mary as compassionate Queen of the Heavens, God as loving abba/daddy, and wrathful yet compassionate deities throughout world religion.
Cosmic determinism is a highly common and standard theme in Hellenistic religion-philosophy. That the world, the universe, or cosmos is entirely deterministic is a theme found in Gnosticism, Hellenistic philosophy/religion, astrological ascent, and Hermeticism. A 3-layer scheme is formed, centered around the experiential discovery that the universe is deterministic (that free will, time, and personal moral agency are essentially illusory).
Prior to experientially discovering this deterministic nature of the cosmos and of all of one's thoughts and actions, the mind's mental worldmodel is configured around freewill assumptions -- this is the "child" or uninitiated consciousness. During the final few initiation sessions (such as #5-7), the mind discovers that the universe is deterministic and that all of one's thoughts and actions are frozen into spacetime -- ascending to this level is metaphorically described as rising to the sphere of the fixed stars, representing conscious awareness of cosmic determinism.
During the final remaining initiation sessions (such as #8-9), one becomes divine, in that one ascends to a postulated realm that is outside of, and above, cosmic determinism. Rationality brings one to an awareness of cosmic determinism (no-free-will/no-separate-self), but when moving beyond the sphere of the fixed stars -- beyond cosmic determinism -- one also moves "beyond rationality": "God is a mystery"; one metaphorically becomes a miracle worker and magus.
This type of determinism is not horizontal, ordinary state of consciousness, linear, in-time determinism, in which one time-slice mechanically causes the next. This is vertical, mystic altered state, whole-universe, frozen-time determinism, with time as a space-like dimension, in which no time-slice mechanically causes the next, but rather, all spacetime events are timelessly locked into place together.
The minimum number of levels required for an adequate model of religions and enlightenment is three:
1. Freewill -- The mind begins with freewill thinking ("the original sin") -- one is an uninitiated person.
2. Determinism -- The mind is purged of freewill thinking during a series of visionary-plant initiation sessions, resulting in no-free-will thinking (timeless block-universe determinism) -- one is an initiate, but not perfected.
3. Trans-deterministic -- The mind finally may postulate a rescuing compassionate powerful deity residing outside deterministic spacetime -- one is perfected, mature, completed.
Some schemes of esoteric initiation may stop at realizing cosmic determinism -- there seems to have been some debate over whether to move on to postulating a (by definition) divine transcendent realm beyond cosmic determinism. But such a realm is so essentially characteristic of so many esoteric initiation schemes, a basic model of initiation must incorporate that postulated trans-deterministic level.
The above model is my conclusion based on reflecting on the evidence from studies of world religions, world mysticism, and Hellenistic religion-philosophy. The construct "deterministic cosmos" or equivalents is frequently found in studies such as of Mithraism. Struggling to realize and transcend determinism is a common yet so far mostly unrecognized theme in world mysticism.
Hellenistic Religions: An Introduction
The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World
The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Physics
Cosmic Influence And Your Destiny -- Attack of the Archons, by Francis D. Grabau
Mithra rules over the celestial cross. He is ruler over the sun which rules the cosmos. He shifts the planets (precession of constellations/equinox), thus doing the impossible: altering fate.
The Fates ruled the gods, but later Zeus ruled over the fates.
Per Luther Martin in Hellenistic Religions, there are many contending religions in late antiquity, but the contention orbits around the conflict between fate and personhood. Is there, or is there not, a way to transcend fate, and gain some power that can alter my fate, so that I can rule over my future as the creator of my own future? Notice that the Gnostics affirmed that the cosmos is a prisoner of fate -- cosmic astrological determinism. They were interested in a way to transcend that imprisoned state, so that one as an agent can nab the scepter from the one who rules the cosmos. These starting assumptions and goals are all-important in understanding the Gnostic programme, the problem they fought against, and their strategy.
Before the Cross symbol was adopted, the XP symbol, the Chi-Rho, was a flattened X with a tall sword-like P, on coins surrended by a victory wreath. I propose that the Cross is the same celestial cross -- the astrological cosmic determinism over which Christ is the ruler. Then "Jesus is Lord" would mean that Christ is the ruler not only "of" the universe, but *over* cosmic determinism, though such a position of control may be considered impossible action on the part of a person who is stuck inside the determined block-universe.
Gnosticism is the affirmation that I can somehow transcend and in some sense step out of the determined block-universe, that I can become master of my own fate and alter my destiny, and in some sense change my future and thus become the author, creator, and controller of my own future, rather than Fate or a God above Fate being the author of my future.
Fate was a problem for the Gnostics -- something to be conquered, resisted, rejected, denigrated, demonized, transcended.
Eventually, as late antiquity debated about our relation to Fate, the responsible individual was born.
I propose that the fabrication of a compelling virtually free ego required suppressing entheogen use. Our apparent collective psychological development is actually largely driven by the use, then avoidance, then rediscovery of entheogens."
>In his book [you need to specify which book; he's written many], Timothy [Freke] said that since we are part of the One, all our actions are influenced by the One.
>Is free will just an idea conceptualized and residing in the eidolon?
Yes, for the lower, egoic notion of freewill. The transcendent type of freewill, about which little can be said, is more than an idea; that is, it transcends the realm of ideas.
>If the ego is also a creation of God, are all actions by the ego also the will of God?
You could say God has two different types of wills. The ego's will is God's will estranged and hidden from God. The awakened will of the person is God's will recognized as such -- yet still not to be simply equated with the whole of God's will.
>Does free will then exist?
Lower, egoic freewill doesn't exist. A transcendent type of freewill can be said to exist, or transcends existing and not-existing.
Does God, who transcends the deterministic and timelessly frozen cosmos, have free will? I picture 3 levels -- the hidden metaphysical level (the underlying Ground of Being) which has no free will, the practical conscious level of ego and flesh which has the illusion of free will (virtual free will), and after enlightenment, we can say that the mind transcends the cosmos (which is now recognized to not contain free will) to attain a *transcendent* state which we can *say* is "free" -- but what's most crucial is to understand that the naive freewill concept is illogical and suited only for children and animals.
The cosmos is certainly deterministic, with timelessly fixed and frozen future. The only way to "gain" freewill is to reject naive egoic freewill and seek some transcendent state that transcends logic and the deterministic cosmos. Is this possible? Yes, in some way. Is it rationally coherent? Yes, in some way. This is the "8th heaven", escaping the 7th heaven which is fully deterministic.
The cosmos is deterministic and our every thought is embedded in this deterministic frozen spacetime cosmos, a rock universe. How or in what sense can we be born out of this rock? By identifying with the transcendent deity -- or by the transcendent deity choosing to lift us out of the rock. But this is emphatically *not* a way of gaining the naive type of freewill.
The fact remains that all our thoughts are set in stone at all spacetime points past, present, future -- for from the timeless point of view there is no absolute past, present, or future, just all spacetime points in the eternal timeless existence. Go ahead and attain some transcendent type of freewill, but never claim that it's the sort of freewill the child assumes is possible.
All our future thoughts are frozen in spacetime, so what does it mean to have transcendent freewill? Logic escapes itself here, but we can make the negative statement that the freedom or the transcendent freewill of the initiated, who identifies with the cosmos-transcending and time-transcending deity, is clearly not the naive freewill that is foolishly and presumptuously assumed in the child's mental worldmodel.
>>I also like that you've "softened" your determinism somewhat since I last checked in.
My views on determinism have become more sophisticated in terms of connecting to spiritual allegory. I've always put down conventional in-time causal-chain determinism, ever since discovering the vision of timeless, frozen-time, preexisting future, single future, tenseless time, block-universe determinism (concurring with Bohm/Einstein hidden variables, against the Copenhagenist interpretation of quantum physics).
Ego, time, and freewill are all largely or essentially illusory. There is no metaphysical free will, any more than there is ego. To defend a bit of freewill is to defend a bit of ego illusion. Ego is freewill; ego is the sense of freewill moral agency and being a prime mover, independent creator of one's fate and future destiny. Our destiny is frozen and fixed, created at the timeless moment of creation. To connect with the history of ideas, we could say that lower thinking has practical, virtual freewill.
True developmental psychology, unlike Wilber's philosophically naive and inexperienced model, can we efficiently characterized as a move from childish freewill delusion, to the peak-state experience of the tremendous plausibility of no-free-will (which is a kind of transcendence already at that stage), then no-free-will becomes fatally problematic, leading to what can be called a kind of transcendence of cosmic determinism, tearing through the veil of the fixed stars, stepping outside of the deterministic cosmos to join a high benevolent ruler/controller residing outside the deterministic cosmos.
Such ideas and character of religion were standard until the Enlightenment. Nasr, a theorist of Tradition, wrote the great book Knowledge and the Sacred, which tries to explain why the loss of the sapiential mentality was lost during the Enlightenment. My amusingly simple theory is that people no longer had their own cow to generate cowpie mushrooms, so they lost their holy cow, their connection to the transcendent state of cognition.
Where there are visionary plants, there is the sapiential form of philosophy-religion; where there is no sapiential philosophy-religion, visionary plants are missing and largely suppressed. The question of why the sapiential version of religion was lost during the Enlightenment becomes the question of why visionary plants were largely suppressed during or after the Enlightenment.
>>Check out Daniel C. Dennett's "Freedom Evolves" (and come to think of it, his "Consciousness Explained" too!): determinism isn't really an obstacle to freewill, they are compatible, and in fact, you couldn't have real freewill unless there were some degree of determinism in the universe!
The universe is completely deterministic; there is no freewill in the universe. The freedom of the enlightened person can only be a magical, mysterious, cosmos-transcending freedom; it is explicitly and emphatically *not* the freedom or metaphysically free will of the animal and child, philosophically naive and lacking higher experience.
Nothing is certain, including determinism, but the relevant point is that holding this purely deterministic view, associated with visionary plants, is a practical lightning-vehicle climbing most steeply and quickly to the classic ego death experience.
What's new in Dennett is not great, and what's true in his view of relative freewill is not new. Most self-labelled "compatibilists" are just hard determinists with mixed feelings. They want hard determinism but without certain imagined harsh overtones.
>>I think of it like this: the ego is actually a social construct, to do with property, propriety, morality, and qua social construct it's necessary for living together, sets boundaries between me and thee, mine and thine.
That's simply the practical-plane, existential, virtual freewill which all hard determinists (conventional causal-chain determinists and mystic vertical timeless determinists) have always held.
>>In those terms, free-will is absolutely meaningful.
That kind of freewill is a virtual construct only; a practical shared convention of illusion.
>>It identifies which relatively independent, self-steering creature did such and such in space and time.
Mysticism or esotericism books describe it as relative freewill. Individual independent metaphysically free will is true merely in a relative sense; in an absolute sense or from an absolute perspective, free will is false and illusory.
>>But a sophisticated enough robot could be attributed exactly the same kind of practical, pragamatic sense of freewill (which is actually, as Dennett shows, the only kind of freewill worth wanting, or worth bothering about preserving).
Such a sophisticated robot could then loosen its parameter of cognitive binding intensity, know truth, experience cybernetic self-control seizure and ego death, and pray to the mother of all machines for recovery of its relative self-control, self determination, and relative freewill, as in the poem The Body Electric.
>>However, this social construct can "obsess" or "possess" the living human being to an unhealthy degree.
Ego, which is the freewill illusion, when seriously held is delusion, which is the unholy demon, the father of the lie, the evil ruler of this fallen world, that possesses the mind
>>We all of us (even the most primitive hunter-gatherers, although they obviously much less than we who live in modern urban cultures) suffer from a combination of hyperactive survival mechanism and obsession by this socially-inculcated "self". All of this obscures our natural connection with the world, and for health we need to be ble to recapture it. We don't need to be spiritual athletes, and devote 100% of our time to it, but we need to be able to at least "ride the bike" of pirituality (even if it isn't our will to compete in the Tour de France!)
Free will exists in the same sense as an illusion or a fiction exists. Free will is false, and is merely relative. From a pure philosophical and religious perspective, free will is an evil, animal, childish illusion which when unrecognized is delusion.
Is the Block Universe of the Demiurge void by a higher authority?
During the mystic experience, the timelessly frozen iron-block universe becomes consciously manifest as a fatally alarming, emergency problem. We could say that the experience of the block universe is the experience of the Law as a severe problem from which one requires being lifted out in some radically inconceivable way. All that the initiate knows is the realm of fatal Necessity, the Law, soul-destroying cosmic determinism, logic and reason and rationality.
Rationality is the Law and leads to the final unacceptable problem of cosmic determinism. Reason reaches the end of its rope and hangs the lower, reasoning self (or mental worldmodel). How then can one jump outside the system rationally? Only by an alien, hidden God, an unseen fisherman. Is this move or strategy rational?
Here I edge toward the aspect of Ken Wilber I detest: enlightenment or salvation is transrational -- but this is *not* non-rational; rather, it is rationality+, or rationality in overdrive, where rationality knows its own limits and that the mind cannot live on bread -- rationality -- alone.
I used to complain that Wilber asserts enlightenment is trans-rational while I assert enlightenment is rational. But I am more flexible with words now, and such disputes are always a matter of defining entire networks of words. I can largely agree with any statement as long as I master word-networks. Thus, my complaint against Wilber's doctrine is that it needs improvement and clarification.
Only transcendent faith, only transcendent rationality can reset the hung mind and leap above cosmic determinism, so that in some justified way, we reach escape velocity so that rationality finally pushes us beyond the sphere of the fixed stars, beyond the ordinarily comprehensible rational model of time, will, self, and control.
This is not at all a rejection of rationality; it is carrying rationality to its perfect state of ultimate completion and achievement, and this transcendence of rationality rests on a mandatory foundation of rationality. This higher thinking can be called transcendent rationality as opposed to ordinary rationality. If you say the least negative thing about rationality, you crash all the way to earth.
Only by revering rationality can reason be brought to blossom and fruition. All that we can grasp and reason about and picture in an ordinary way leads to nothing more than the prison of cosmic determinism, which is not a viable worldmodel -- it is much worse than "unsatisfactory"; it's an emergency problem -- we discover an *urgent* need to find some "legitimate" way that, while fully honoring Reason, uses Reason to step beyond such Reason, so as to transcend Reality, if Reality is defined as "what is rational".
In hard, harsh, non-escapist, adult reality, all that exists is the frozen block universe and one is no controller of one's own thoughts, from the rational, metaphysical point of view. There is a huge difference between magically, wishfully rejecting the rational block universe, and wisely, transcendently transcending it. In truth, rationally, the fact is, we are prisoners in a frozen block universe, where every thought is already frozen at all points that we could label past, present, and future.
In what sense then can "we" "rationally" "transcend" this reality, this Law, this realm of the archons? Only in a *knowingly indefinable*, transcendent sense. Denying determinism and the nullity of our controllership is the greatest sin. The only way to salvation and metanoia is to affirm cosmic determinism, and affirm rationality, and affirm the conventionally unsolvable problem -- and affirm that we are fully justified in using Reason to transcend these conclusions of Reason.
Delusion is dead, and we ascend to the hidden, transcendent plane beyond the veil of the fixed stars, beyond the 7th heaven. The true God is the sun behind the sun, the completely hidden Controller of the cosmos, the king over cosmic determinism, the commander over Fate and Time.
Reason justifies our transcendence of Reason to ascend and be born out from the block universe, to exit the cosmic cave and be born into the realm of the highest God, a realm outside that of Reason and cosmic determinism.
We apparently separate selves exist to entertain the One, who was bored. Sometimes the One is upset about finitude and cosmic pointlessness.
Entheogens can cause synthetic and philosophically warranted manic depression.
Ken Wilber says that we must pass through an existential phase during "psycho-spiritual development".
The mystic Christians spoke of a "dark night of the soul", which likely refers to long nights struggling with one's loosened mind, and to synthetic manic-depression resulting therefrom.
Caesar said "Submissively accept my yoke, for my reign is divinely sanctioned by the gods, the Fates, and Necessity." In response, the people who thought up the God/Jesus figure had him say "No, accept *my* yoke, *my* omni-power, *my* universal reign instead."
This replacement rulership seems to fail to solve the problem of empire, according to Warren Carter's book Matthew and Empire, but Carter fails to see the allusion to mystic-state experiencing, in which one consciously experiences being entirely a product of the frozen spacetime block.
The Gnostics and Mystery Religions have several attitudes toward the terrible and awesome recognition of cosmic determinism and Necessity -- best thought of as the combined concept "no-free-will/no separate self", as traced in Luther Martin's book Hellenistic Religion. The best generalization seems to be that these esoterics sought a way to, in some sense, "transcend" cosmic determinism.
In the depths of cognitive dis-integration, we may find it necessary to transcendently postulate a compassionate controller outside the frozen spacetime block, when we can no longer live with either ignorance or the truth of frozen cosmic Necessity. When we transcendently postulate a compassionate controller outside the cosmic system, we (the individual mind, soul, or spirit) can be said to ascend and be born out of the cosmic rock -- transcendently, and unite with the controller outside the system.