Serapis Bey

I want Robert Kolker to take acid

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My drugs of choice aren't acid, so I can't really comment. More of a stimulants-or-booze guy here.

That said, the idea of Bob on acid reminds me a lot of Velvet Acid Christ's song "Side-Ways Calculus."

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The Zen folks say you don't need acid for this. Time and meditation are the ingredients.

What SP is describing is Enlightenment, or what the Buddhists and Hindus refer to as a state of Sat-one energy. Dualism disappears, and a unitive worldview results.

Not a small number of people have reached this state on their own, so to speak.

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Let's not forget about Carlos Castaneda and his use of peyote to transcend mental states.

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You only get to compare the effects if you've actually tried both methods. That's the rule.

When I retire, I'm going to have a nice big field with some cows in it. SB can probably guess why. B)

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The Zen folks say you don't need acid for this. Time and meditation are the ingredients.

What SP is describing is Enlightenment, or what the Buddhists and Hindus refer to as a state of Sat-one energy. Dualism disappears, and a unitive worldview results.

Not a small number of people have reached this state on their own, so to speak.

Yes and no.

I wasn't describing Enlightenment, I was describing the experience of the willfull intrusion of Ego into the murky realms and brackish waters where Ego and Reality meet.

I understand that psychedelics are perceived ambivalently by "purists" in the Eastern tradition.

That is, psychedelics have often served as a bridge to those who eventually end up full-fledged adherents of whatever Tradition. On the other hand, psychedelics are seen by Eastern purists as a "quick and dirty" means of circumventing the hard work in attaining "enlightenment." There is some truth to this because the drugs do introduce a lot of "noise" in the otherwise pure "signal" -- such "noise" often being the perceptual effects which so entrance those who take these chemicals for recreational purposes.

I understand this because it was my time experimenting with psychedelics that served as one of several catalysts in my break with orthodox Objectivism, and led to a period of study involving meditation and Eastern esoteric thought. At the time I was still an uptight and overly serious control-freak with an inflated ego. The perfect specimen to be "taught" by the psychedelic experience. What I mean is, I was the exact opposite of the sort of person who normally would appreciate such experiences. I had a lot of bad trips. I can recall curling into a fetal position, fearing for my sanity, begging whatever gods there were to make it stop - "help me help me help me help me, why did I do this I don't enjoy this I'm never doing this again", etc. This was because I was still excessively tied to my ego and need for control-through-understanding. When you flood the brain with overwhelming sensory input, there is no way your "normal" monkey-mind can process it all. I believe an analogy Leary made was of being a single mouth attempting to drink in the whole ocean -- give up the attempt, you will be drowned soon enough.

Not being one who accepts defeat easily, I repeatedly endured the experience on multiple occassions with the intention to "conquer" it. And whatever success I made in that department did not involve the forceful application of more Will or Ego, but by learning to "let go" and realize that it was OK to lose control to a certain extent. That was when the true insights came.

There's a Tool song I posted in another thread dealing with the LSD experience, and one of the repeated lyrics is "prying open my third eye." Prying is the right word when you consider someone who has had no meditative experience. LSD is like taking a crowbar and forcing your way in to "enlightenment."

It doesn't come without significant suffering when you attempt a shortcut. :)

The reason I have mentioned things like LSD and Gurdjieff here is because I don't think pure Buddhism or Zen or meditation would find purchase among most Objectivists. In my estimation, people who eventually gravitate to the latter tend to already be of a certain temperament and constitution. More passive. But Objectivism is all about capitalism...progress...dynamism...Type A personalities, etc. I do not think such people would ever find the patience or motivation for the rigorous discipline and TIME involved in getting "there" naturally. The gains and rewards are too slow in coming, and do not provide enough feedback to induce one to continue. On the other hand, Gurdjieffian "egoism" (and of course the relentless slam of an acid trip), would tend to be more amenable to people who still want to act and purse goals, etc. -- keeping the ego front and center, yet polished and streamlined a little, in other words.

In closing, there is the story (probably apocryphal) once told to me by an old hippie about a group of Americans in the sixties who visited India in search of "enlightenment" and "great truths". Richard Alpert/Ram Dass might have been the central figure. Like many at the time, they had dabbled in psychedelics and Eastern thought. They hiked a mountain in search of some famous Yogi, and upon finding him, settled in. One of the group had brought along a stash of LSD in the hopes of assisting their efforts. The Yogi caught wind of their discussion and inquired about this "LSD" he had heard many Americans were experimenting with lately. After having the basics described to him, he asked to see it. One of the Americans handed over the pouch containing a large number of doses. The Yogi dumped a handful out and threw them in his mouth. The rest of the group were aghast since the Yogi had just consumed about 10 times the amount of a "strong dose" -- an amount that would have made an experienced acid-head lose his marbles forever. After listening to their warnings and concerns, the Yogi assumed a Lotus position and closed his eyes. After several hours of not moving or speaking, he opened his eyes and said, "Not bad. But it's not the real thing."

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After several hours of not moving or speaking, he opened his eyes and said, "Not bad. But it's not the real thing."

Love it.

"Before Enlightenment you haul water and chop wood.

After Enlightenment you haul water and chop wood."

Ellen

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Well.... interestingly enough, loss of accurate time perception is one of the features of an acid trip. :D

Maybe if you take enough, it will become 2008 again.

Actually, you have it backwards. It's a solipsistic deceit that our subjective experience of time is the "accurate" one.

My experience under the influence, seared into my brain, is that time is truly an illusion, a magic show basically. I "saw" or "felt" or "experienced" that the Big Bang (or however you chose to conceptualize the "beginning" of time) was never over, that is is happening NOW, and ALWAYS, and that the "past", "present" and "future" are merely subjective reference frames. It is ALL one big NOW, forever blooming and dying and being recycled again. Our coventional notion of time is like an arrow, or rather, like a ski-lift that we ride along, slowly moving through a certain time "substance". But that is merely how we experience it subjectively. In reality, everything in the universe has already happened, but our peculiar possession of consciousness is merely a passive observer of what has already happened, and we experience this perception of Fate as movement through time and motion.

This was one of my experiences which compelled me to lean towards your notion of determinism as against free will. Although I'm still very much undecided on the issue.

I'm sure Dennis or Bob can say more about the nature of Time.

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Pretty fascinating description, and as I was reading it, I was thinking "Yeah, this is what I'm trying to say"... just as evolution is not an "event" that happened and we are just recently finding out about but rather an experience we are actually part of, the big bang is a single event that subsumes an entire epoch, from the moment the universe burst until the last photon stops vibrating.

And every effect that happens during this event is at the mercy of whatever caused it.

Just as billiard balls have no options on how they deflect each other, the atoms in our brains have no options on how they respond to gravity and whatever other forces move them. Put those atoms together, and you have a compound that plays by the same rules. Put those compounds together, and you have DNA/RNA that plays by the same rules. Put them together, and you have chromosomes... cells... organs... blood... water... electricity... brains... minds... all of which play by the exact same rules.

Again, I have not heard an argument disputing this reality that didn't depend on either mysticism (god gave us free will!) or special pleading (nothing has any choice in how it acts, everything must respond exactly as it does except for the human brain).

I see free will as being illusory in the same way that you have described time as being so, and I'm inclined to agree with your insight.

Carl Sagan said that we are a means for the universe to know itself. We are the eyes through which the universe sees itself. It would not surprise me in the least if these illusions of time and free will are necessary features of cognition that we must possess in order to accomplish that.

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Carl Sagan said that we are a means for the universe to know itself. We are the eyes through which the universe sees itself. It would not surprise me in the least if these illusions of time and free will are necessary features of cognition that we must possess in order to accomplish that.

Kacy,

That's a hell of a thing for a determinist to say: in other words, we are the expression of the free will of the universe?

:smile:

Michael

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Kacy,

That's a hell of a thing for a determinist to say: in other words, we are the expression of the free will of the universe?

:smile:

Michael

Either that or we are the inevitable consequence of a cosmos that is bound to become conscious.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Kacy,

That's a hell of a thing for a determinist to say: in other words, we are the expression of the free will of the universe?

:smile:

Michael

Not really. In fact, I think I'm being pretty consistent. I thought we all agreed, as a point of fact, that matter has no choice in how it acts. In other words, the whole universe, and everything in it, operates exactly as its nature dictates.

We all agree on that, right?

The only thing we seem to disagree on is that the human brain is an exception to that rule. You say it is. I say there's no reason to believe it is.

Am I framing things accurately here? Please, correct me if I'm not.

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Either that or we are the inevitable consequence of a cosmos that is bound to become conscious.

Ba'al Chatzaf

It would seem so, yes.

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Not really. In fact, I think I'm being pretty consistent. I thought we all agreed, as a point of fact, that matter has no choice in how it acts. In other words, the whole universe, and everything in it, operates exactly as its nature dictates.

We all agree on that, right?

The only thing we seem to disagree on is that the human brain is an exception to that rule. You say it is. I say there's no reason to believe it is.

Am I framing things accurately here? Please, correct me if I'm not.

Kacy,

Man did you ever get that wrong about my views. I certainly agreed to no such thing in the sense you are proposing. I do agree that volition has its own nature and operates accordingly, but in your formulation, you lead it to eliminating volition altogether and replacing it with illusion (whatever that could possibly mean).

I lead it to being the start point of the end of determinism, and the end point of the start of determinism at the same time, like a point on a circle. It's both the start and end point.

Be careful with your cybernetic narratives, especially the presuppositions embedded in them. They will make you miss and misunderstand a lot. And I speak not as a lesson-teacher, but as someone who has to constantly keep an eye on my own.

I don't know how many times I've said that we are made out of the same stuff as the rest of the universe. I've been saying that for years.

It's one of the reasons I believe we can map abstractions corresponding to forms that exist in external reality and be sure they accurately reflect external reality. They are both made of the same stuff, i.e., they follow the same laws of organization.

Granted, this is on the axiomatic level. You cannot prove it. But you have to use it to negate it, which makes it an axiom.

Nathaniel Branden used to have a funny way of saying the same thing. He said man is not a freak of nature.

Accepting this axiom does not lead to determinism, which is merely a speculation and not an axiom. In other words, I don't have to be volition-less in order to assume volition exists (i.e., the opposite). I can easily have volition and do so. In fact, I do.

Michael

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Maybe just a flashback , but there ain't no time man just present shit now it's past , well ya know what I mean. The experience for me(multiple times , while not always unenjoyable) was more of sensory over perception, I think that is where the confusion comes in, too much to make sense of. I would not recommend walking through a large area of soft turf in early spring with significant ground fog( the kind that only comes up to your waist) while under the influence, unless you have nothing better to do, and if I had my druthers I would have done it with someone(anyone!!) else by my side. As I remember it, that was the longest 37 year walk of my life.

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Maybe I should start a blog on how determined (to ...) I was.

--Brant

if you aren't determined (to ...) you'll get determined, good and hard

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Time does not exist and cannot be experienced. An inch does not exist. What exists in both cases is what is being measured. Time is only in our heads.

--Brant

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Time does not exist and cannot be experienced. An inch does not exist. What exists in both cases is what is being measured. Time is only in our heads.

--Brant

Time is as real as space. In fact together they are one.

Humans are limited. The only raw reality they can experience is NOW. Everything else is the THEN of memory or the imagination and expectation we call the FUTURE.

It took me a while to get this. For starters I had to realized that Fields are Real and Particles are just bumps and wrinkles in the Fields.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Time does not exist and cannot be experienced. An inch does not exist. What exists in both cases is what is being measured. Time is only in our heads.

--Brant

Time is as real as space. In fact together they are one.

Humans are limited. The only raw reality they can experience is NOW. Everything else is the THEN of memory or the imagination and expectation we call the FUTURE.

It took me a while to get this. For starters I had to realized that Fields are Real and Particles are just bumps and wrinkles in the Fields.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I've read that the dominant force in the universe is not weak gravity but of an electrical nature--not so much gravitational fields but electrical ones. Does this make any sense to you?

--Brant

BTW, space doesn't exist either; that's another measurement

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Time does not exist and cannot be experienced. An inch does not exist. What exists in both cases is what is being measured. Time is only in our heads.

--Brant

Time is as real as space. In fact together they are one.

Humans are limited. The only raw reality they can experience is NOW. Everything else is the THEN of memory or the imagination and expectation we call the FUTURE.

It took me a while to get this. For starters I had to realized that Fields are Real and Particles are just bumps and wrinkles in the Fields.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I've read that the dominant force in the universe is not weak gravity but of an electrical nature--not so much gravitational fields but electrical ones. Does this make any sense to you?

--Brant

BTW, space doesn't exist either; that's another measurement

The electromagnetic field does not carry a charge. The Cosmos is close to electrically neutral. The Conservation of Charge seems to hold.

In the beginning there was One Field, One energy and it was broken apart into several although no one knows quite how.

The planets and sun have no net charge other wise there would be strong repulsive forces at work which are no where observed.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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"Before Enlightenment you haul water and chop wood.

After Enlightenment you haul water and chop wood."

I wonder what you mean with this Koan, Ellen? How much of your heart is in it?

I'm no Buddhist scholar, but I'm pretty sure what this famous quote refers to is the experience of "going under", of "perceiving the true nature of reality" during meditation, and then realizing that in order to function in the world, one must perforce assume the same old illusions one had before "enlightenment."

I speculate that one such insight learned is the predetermined nature of Life, i.e., the initial conditions at the "start" of the universe spiral outward in a Grand Design greater than anything our monkey-minds can conceive of. I further speculate that it is this realization which leads to the tranquility and inner-peace one finds in practitioners of Zen. Such individuals have relinquished the Western conceit that we are fully responsible for what happens to us, and the concommitant stress and anxiety over our powerlessness in the face of Reality. Yet, in order to act as a goal-pursuing organism, we have to indulge the belief that we are in control.

Is this something you are prepared to endorse? :)

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Either that or we are the inevitable consequence of a cosmos that is bound to become conscious.

In the beginning there was One Field, One energy and it was broken apart into several although no one knows quite how.

At the risk of tooting my own horn, I have to say that many of the theories in cosmology and quantum physics I eventually read about were anticipated by me during my psychedelic trips.

Warning: there is a "spiritual", "mystical" slant to it all.

As I mentioned before, I had a lot of bad trips. But as any old acid-head will tell you, it is often the bad trips which are the most illuminating.

I remember being thrown into a hellish, atavistic solitude....there were no pretty colors or New Age foo-foo to comfort me. I experienced what it was like to be the Only Thing. What I mean is that I experienced what it was like to be a point source of consciousness, with nothing to percieve. Nothing around me. Just pure Awareness....of NOTHING. I recall thinking this must be what "God" must have felt in the "beginning". So utterly lonely. (I was an atheist). And this was a loneliness that was not in time, but for an eternity. Words can't do justice to the experience. I feared for my sanity. When every organic instinct in me was screaming alarm bells, I felt a sort of 'demi-urge" to willingly "lose my mind" for the sake of escaping this horrible solitude. To go crazy, in other words.

My subsequent reading of esoteric literature confirmed what I felt. There a number of spiritual "myths" that involve the idea of "God" splitting itself in two in order to escape this loneliness. In order to know itself all over again. Basically one part of the Original Thing is forgetting the other part in order to create movement or activity. It's all a sort of game, or play that "God" does over and over to keep itself occupied and entertained and far away from that original Solitude. Kind of like a dog chasing its own tail.

Next time you're in a barber shop where you have parallel mirrors creating an infinte regress...well, you might have an idea.

Of course, seperation (or Division) creates the chaos and violence and havoc and pain we know all too well from our Darwinian past. And that is why the Seperation does not last forever. Eventually the pain of Separation gets to be too much, and the two halves (which had eventually split into Multitudes) must return to a Union of Love and Wholeness. (This would be FAR off in our own personal futures, I have to add)

Pretty out there, eh? But I assure you, I am not a hippie.

The takeaway from all this, I think, is the possibility of reconceptualizing the debate over the relationship between matter and consciousness. Philosophical condundrums like Free Will can be recast if we utterly flip our materialistic bias about matter being the starting point. You see, when we inadvertantly start with a materialistic bias, we are left with the mystery of consciousness and all the attendant puzzles. We aer left perceiving ourselves as mere meatpuppets (Hi Ba'al).

But I recall reading somewhere (perhaps it was Ken Wilber channeling some previous philosopher) that it is more fruitful instead to think of EVERYTHING possessing consciousness, of a sort. That is, we are merely the latest and greatest examples of consciousness reaching higher orders of complexity. But it is a narcissitic conceit that we are somehow unique or elevated over the animals and the cavemen of our past, as if our particular consciousness was sui generis. We are the Rational Animal!

No, I'm afraid it's all on a spectrum. This has moral implications for how we treat animals, for instance, but I'll leave that issue alone for now.

The mystics would say that bacteria have consciousness. That rocks have a sort of consciousness.

This, of course, completely flips Objectivist metaphysics on its head and turns it inside-out.

But it's worth considering.

I realize I haven't fully thought out all the implications of this perspective, so I leave it to y'all to pick it apart. I'm merely reporting my direct, knowable experience.

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SB,

I cannot imagine how you, having had all of these insights, still identify with the Eyes of Fear.

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SB,

I cannot imagine how you, having had all of these insights, still identify with the Eyes of Fear.

"Who's going to come out and say the mind of Nature is innately insane?" -- Jack Kerouac

"The principal activity of Nature, like some eternally frustrated artist, is destruction." -- de Sade

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Whatever helps you sleep at night man.

I just know it reduces your quality of life. I know that you suffer for this worldview. I know that it does not serve you well.

And I think you know this too.

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