Enlightenment is a matter of rational, cognitive, intellectual loosening up of mental constructs and mental processing in the mystic altered state in order to revise thinking, to produce a more logically consistent mental worldmodel.
>Enlightenment is not a state of mind. Neither is it not a state of mind. Enlightment is not found on the rational end of things (although the refinement of logic plays a major role). Rather, it is a mystical state of bliss. Its when you just don't give a fuck. You see how it all is. You just look at it and laugh because you see people making sense out of it one way, then another, and then you become liberated into this lucid, lubricated, gel-like state. You see that everything is true and nothing is true.
Wilber differentiates between "states" and "stages". I found a cognitive-science derived terminology more effective: "mental worldmodels" and "cognitive binding intensities".
The egoic worldmodel is established first, and is then transcended and included in the transcendent worldmodel. Ken Wilber calls either of these worldmodels a "stage" of mental (or "psychospiritual") development.
Some people have denied that enlightenment is an altered state. I would say that (typically) enlightenment happens in the altered state, and then remains when the default state resumes.
Some people have denied that rationality produces enlightenment. I would say that rationality is one of the two required contributors to enlightenment, the other being the altered state.
Some people have denied that rationality has anything to do with enlightenment. I disagree. Only a feeble, pointlessly crippled, intuitive kind of enlightenment would be possible without rationality. That kind of enlightenment cannot be rationally communicated. One misunderstands enlightenment and sells it short, if one thinks it is not based on rationality. Enlightenment is rational and is based on rationality, and can be communicated rationally. Enlightenment happens most naturally and is experienced most deeply in the altered state (loose cognitive association).
I can imagine attaining enlightenment via full rationality with no altered state, or via no rationality but only with the altered state. However, this is as pointless, silly, absurd, and artificial as climbing a mountain with your shoes tied together. Let us think in terms of ergonomics.
Trying to attain enlightenment without the altered state is a sin against ergonomics and is an insult to the altered state. Trying to attain enlightenment without rationality is a sin against ergonomics and is an insult to rationality.
Rationality is a tool which is perfectly suited for the job at hand, and the altered state is a tool which is perfectly suited for the job at hand. The job requires both these tools: rationality and the altered state. Rationality + altered state = enlightenment. Any other formula adds up to a stunted mess and is unergonomic, therefore is to be rejected as a definition of what enlightenment is about.
Enlightenment is about using rationality in the state of loose cognitive association to switch from the egoic freewill mental worldmodel to the transcendent no-free-will, timeless block-universe mental worldmodel.
The following is a typical, archetypal sequence showing the movement from the egoic mental model to the transcendent mental model, and showing how the transition from tight cognition to temporary loose cognition and back to tight cognition is related to the mental model shift. This shows how enlightenment is both a temporary event that happens *in* the loosecog state and a permanent mental model that originates in the loosecog state and remains when the tightcog state resumes.
This shows the senses in which enlightenment is both an altered state and an enduring mental model. Rationality is required before, during, and after the altered state; rationality fully participates in enlightenment. Both rationality and loosecog are required, to attain, or at least to fully experience, enlightenment.
1. Egoic mental model & tight cognition
First there is the egoic mental worldmodel of time, self, and control, with the cognitive state of tight cognitive binding (abbreviated: tight cognition, tight-cog state, or tight-cog). Basic reasoning ability is developed using that worldmodel and that cognitive state.
2. Egoic mental model & loose cognition
Second, the mind enters the cognitive state of loose binding between mental constructs -- loose cognition, or loose-cog. This combination of egoic mental model and loose cognition is highly unstable. Virtual loss of control occurs; experience of ego death or cybernetic self-control breakdown. This is cyber-control death, or cyber-death, as portrayed in the song The Body Electric http://www.egodeath.com/rushlyrics.htm#xtocid22998.
3. Transcendent mental model & loose cognition
While still in the altered state, experience walking into the kingdom of heaven, in which the Ground of Being is seen to author, create, own, and control all thoughts. The mind contains conscious experience of the existence of a hidden transcendent or underlying metaphysical source timelessly putting all thoughts into place at all points in time. There is a world putting forth thoughts in one's mind, and there may be a transcendent God that is timelessly creating/controlling that world, but even if both a world and God exist, the one thing that doesn't is the freewill doer, the genuine egoic agent.
4. Transcendent mental model & tight cognition
Tight cognition resumes by default, and the transcendent mental model remains, including the egoic mental model which it subsumes (transcends and includes).
This is a simplified, archetypal model of the progression, as though a perfectly egoic mind enters the altered state one time only and completely transforms to the full-fledged transcendent mental model, which is then completely retained and rationally understood after tight cognition resumes. In practice, the egoic mind starts off with some religious knowledge, several initiations may be required, and much study, reflection, and explicit model-tinkering may be needed.
This ideal single-pass progression would happen if the initiate were young and not widely read, and if an ideal way of entering the altered state is fully available, and a wonderfully concise and clear and vivid book is available (Ego Death: How to Experience and Understand It), and good communities, discussion groups, or schools of transformation are available.
Cheryl wrote (paraphrased):
>>Assuming that the mystical experience has a standard common core, why is there variety of experiences across entheogen sessions and individuals? Is a person's experience influenced by their knowledge?
The mystic state of consciousness, such as from visionary plants, has some standard but loose set of cognitive effects, as a family resemblance, as a general cognitive processing state aside from particular mental content. For example, the most interesting parameter that often changes in cognitive processing is the great loosening of mental construct association binding; mental constructs dis-integrate.
Even if this particular effect is less tangible with THC than with LSD, the 'loose cognition' characterization is all that's needed for a highly useful theoretical model of the mystic state. By conceptualizing the mystic state as 'loose cognition', that characterization gives the most bang for the buck in proceeding to construct an entire theory and model of mental worldmodel revision.
On top of the layer of loose cognition, is the layer of particular mental content. Loose cognition enables profoundly blissful and terrifying experiences. For everyone, across world mysticism, there exists a set of classic experiential phenomena, potential altered-state mental dynamics, awaiting discovery during exploration of the mystic state, or loosecog state.
Give an American and a Japanese a dose of LSD, during two sessions, and the result will be four different sets of experiences, but with certain recurring phenomena, in a loosely overlapping way. The same set of around twelve themes is reported across cultures, though these themes are experienced and reported using various, equivalent imagery and metaphorical description.
Greater knowledge about loose cognition and its dynamics of content layered on top of it, can home in on some of the most characteristic, fascinating, and alluring aspects of it, such as the self-control singularity vortex, time stoppage, affixion and absorption of oneself into spacetime, the sense of being mysteriously externally controlled, and the loss of the sense of wielding personal control power over one's thoughts, actions, and movements of will.
I am of the Perennial Philosophy school, putting the accent on the transcendent unity of mystic experiencing across cultures. However, this doesn't mean that everyone within a particular culture has the same quality of mystic experiencing. Your knowledge about higher thinking must reach a certain level, before you can fully, intensely, and richly engage with the mystic state realm and meaningfully discover and encounter its potential mental dynamics and the resulting experiential insights.
>>>You might say I discovered the key to secular metaphysical philosophy in 1988, but didn't discover the essence of transcendent religion until around 1995. Around 1995 I still assumed much of the New Testament should be read literally; that there was a historical Jesus and crew, even though I had experienced rising up to meet the *heavenly*, spiritual Jesus as personified principle halfway up in the air, as in the "third or fourth heaven" in a system where the sphere of deterministic fixed stars to penetrate is level 8.
>>How to more advanced mystic state experiences compare with earlier, more beginner mystic state experiences? How does knowing the theory of mystic insight, or knowing various cultural mental constructs affect mystic-state experience?
Familiarity with the mental dynamics and intellectual-philosophical concerns expands as the series of entheogen sessions proceeds, but also homes in on certain of the most fascinating mental dynamics, such as the experiencing of non-control and of timelessness.
To discover some of the most interesting and profound classic mystic-state phenomena, a certain level of thinking and reading is necessary about mystic experiencing, theology, religion, philosophy, cognitive psychology, mythology, esotericism, control, time, will, and personal agency. It is nonsensical and self-defeating, a common fallacy, to think that it's possible to have full and profound mystic experiencing without having a pertinent mental library of concepts to provide a handle on the mystic state.
Without knowledge, experience is greatly limited. Inadequate knowledge limits experiencing, and inadequate experiencing limits knowledge.
>>Is the core of mystic-state experiencing universal because of brain chemistry, analogous to how eyesight is biologically universal and standard?
The common features of mystic-state experiencing are universal because brain chemistry and cognitive construct processing about personal agency is universal and standard. Everyone, across cultures, by late childhood, has an experience of being a locus of controllership, wielding power and responsibility, interacting with other people who are also so conceived.
Even if all the rest of their myth-religion and culture is different, the original sin of thinking in terms of freewill personal agency is universal, even applying to animals: "I move myself and direct my thoughts".
This accustomed, sense-based mental framework becomes highly developed and entrenched even in the most rational, intellectual person prior to initiation, like how the Newtonian system of spacetime physics became highly elaborated by the late 1800s, with only a few loose ends, such as lack of self-integrity about moving oneself and one's thoughts.
>>Does the standard mystic state of loose cognition, when combined with various worldviews or theories, influence one's mental content and perceptual sense of the world?
Most generally, the cross-culturally standard mystic state of loose cognition is combined with perennial philosophy, which is also cross-culturally standard; there are equivalent ideas in the higher philosophy across cultures, such as problematic concern with what can be called freewill personal agency. One's mental content will vary in some respects across cultures, but the similarity of the mystic state and of the perennial philosophy across cultures will cause a degree of standardization of one's mental content and perceptual sense of the world and of personal agency.
There will be some differences in surface conceptualization and metaphorical language frameworks, but the cognitive dynamics of personal controllership are pretty well standard.
>>>My modern whole-system of transcendence works by combining unprecedentedly *direct* and effective explanation, with any amount of tripping. My systematization (the Cybernetic Theory of Ego Death) is clearer not just to today's audience, but to any audience; it is clearer in absolute terms, not just relative to its contemporary audience.
>>>One way it is better is that it has much higher *for its intended audience* than the old attempted systematizations had *for their intended audiences*. Thus after we have normalized for cultural differences, my theory still comes out far ahead. Previous systems were confused and hazy *to their own audiences*; they were *not* clear and direct and ergonomic to the audience of their day.
>>Concerning cultural difference: would this include a cultural acknowledging the value of critical thinking? Would this groundwork be helpful?
Critical thinking is an increase of thinking compared to careless, lazy thinking. Noncritical thinking receives a single careless association, and immediately halts, whereas criticial thinking gathers many associations, evaluates them carefully, and selects the best. Critical thinking also amounts to a conscious, skilled awareness of interlocking sets of ideas: higher-order critical thinking.
Enlightenment about personal control agency has everything to do with higher-order critical thinking: you can either think about time, will, self, and control according to the familiar accustomed overarching scheme, or, according to a profoundly different arrangement of all sorts of related ideas and mental constructs.
Critical thinking means mastering multiple competing idea-networks; and enlightenment is about switching from one idea-network to a competing idea-network, so higher-order critical thinking is essential and mandatory for full basic enlightenment. Short of such critical thinking, the mind can't quickly lock onto the changed mental worldmodel; thus the horrible inefficiency of Zen, which attempts to attain enlightenment based only on experience, empty of intellectual content and skill.
>>Do cultural differences cause some resistance to embracing the cybernetic self-control theory of ego death and rebirth? Such as the negative attitude toward visionary plants? Or as in an educational system that promotes a worldview antagonistic toward "book knowledge"?
There is a confluence of factors working together against giving visionary plants the credit they deserve. The American hot/cold attitude toward the intellect, ersatz New Age spirituality, and the phony Prohibition-for-Profit War on Drugs walk hand-in-hand.
There is no resistance to the cybernetic self-control theory of ego death and rebirth. People who have learned what the theory says have readily accepted it. The theory hasn't been put forward in print for evaluation yet. Some people don't accept certain main aspects of the theory, such as the ahistoricity of Jesus, the straightforward rationality of mystic insight and enlightenment, the strongly entheogenic basis of religion, and mystic no-free-will.
I don't know of anyone who has evaluated all the main points of the theory and then rejected the theory overall. It is too early still; the theory is still being initially packaged to make it quickly learnable.
>I, like so many other people here, are trying to understand what you are saying about block-universe determinism without taking entheogens.
I am undecided about my views of people trying to understand comprehend or perceive block universe determinism without looking through the telescope of entheogens. The Prohibition-for-profit gravy-train has made the Holy Spirit illegal. The telescope is illegal, so I cannot ask people to look through it. But this telescope is *the* main tool for doing scientific research and data collection in this area of studying the ego death experience.
The sure and instant way to understand the rational model of ego death is to study the summaries I'm putting together and also look through the appropriate, entheogenic opera glasses. Entheogens without a rational theory of ego death won't convey understanding *or* fullness of experience, and a rational theory without entheogens will be severely limited in ability to convey a full understanding.
Empty-headed people portray their entheogen experiences in empty-headed ways. Do not confuse the way empty-headed people characterize and report entheogen experiences with the potential of entheogen experiences. Polymaths and gifted minds, even when starting out heavily biased against entheogens, consistently report that entheogens are a generalized, non-specific amplifier of cognitive processes including artistic sense, emotional capability, cognitive performance, and metaphor-manipulation ability.
Anyone who values cognition, or metaphor-handling ability, or emotion, and wants to amplify that, can do no better than to investigate entheogens. Never forget: the first thing to remember about our knowledge of entheogens is that our culture, so far, only has experienced them under a severe combination of legal suppression, cultural taboo, and sheer ignorance and misinformation, including lies, distortion, misinformation, and power-establishment propaganda.
What are entheogens about? Certainly *not* just today's way of using entheogens, which most obviously includes empty-headed kids at raves. You must not mistake the reports of directionless 16-year-olds in today's extremely oppressive and largely ignorant climate to provide a useful characterization and report of what entheogens can bring.
The superficial and the young may value entheogens as sensory enhancers while overlooking the cognitive enhancement abilities. Certainly, sensory enhancement is helpful in developing many areas of human knowledge -- we should not put down sensory enhancement, but only put down excessive attention to sensory enhancement at the expense of the many other riches entheogens provide as a non-specific amplifier of all mental processes.
An important idea I want to impress on everyone: imagine what it would be like if entheogens were not suppressed. We would hear descriptions and applications from many more people than just superficial empty-headed people who value them only for their sensory enhancement quality. Even now, under today's worst-case conditions, although kids and other non-cerebral users may overemphasize the superficial effects of entheogens, if you read any serious books about entheogens or even if you read a large number of anonymous writings online you will immediately find a much broader picture of the cognitive enhancement abilities of entheogens.
Always remember: blame prohibition for today's shortcomings of entheogens; don't blame entheogens themselves. If entheogens look ridiculous and limited today, it is not because of their potential or their own innate character; it's because of prohibition.
Aldous Huxley had shockingly backwards, narrow-minded, unenlightened notions about entheogens -- until the moment he tried them."
>...I think more in concepts than visual images so I wasn't inclined to close my eyes and visualize ... my own technique ... music and inward focus, the feedback loops ...
Ken Wilber has used the term 'vision-logic' in a way that is almost perfectly appropriate for the mystic altered state of loose cognitive association. It is hard to determine exactly what he has in mind by the term. Lately he has been writing more about entheogens and maybe we will see if he connects 'vision-logic' with entheogenic cognition.
>I found that the experience varied greatly, perhaps qualitatively as well as by degree, according to dosage, as well as set and setting.
>An outwardly focused experience, perhaps chatting with friends or walking about your environment, was suitable for a low dose. low dosages seem to enhance perceptual experience and emotional response to those experiences. The externally focused trips can be enjoyable and insightful, but are limited.
>I experienced ... controlled hallucinations ... at moderate dosages. moderate dosages allow for a controlled reverie or fantasy process. the middle zone ... It's probably the best place to be.
>In the middle zone you really do have a choice about the path you take. You can obsess about the negative and focus on that. Or you can focus on the positive and go with that. You choose the path you take. And in general it's wise to choose the path with joy.
>At very high dosages, mental phenomena seem to take on a life of their own, independent of the ego and its "ray of attention".
>higher dosages mimic ... psychosis. The ego is overwhelmed by psychic forces beyond its apparent control. In that respect the condition is like dreaming, except that dreaming mimics normal waking experience, whereas the hallucinations I've had in that state are more disembodied and removed from an environmental context.
>The psychotic trips can be terrifying and too out of control. It can be difficult to integrate a psychotic episode. And without the proper setting and social support, they are potentially dangerous.
Even a sustained, deliberate investigation of ego death is best done with intermediate dosage levels, such as 350 micrograms rather than 500-800 micrograms. If you graph dosage versus usefulness, the high dosages are not the most interesting, useful, or valuable. You miss out, with overdosing. You could say that 350 mics is more kick-ass than 500-800 mics. Overdosing produces lame experiencing. The most awesome experience and comprehension of profundity is through intermediate amounts -- perhaps strong, but not extreme.
From the Cognitive Science perspective, I think the most telling parts of some trip reports have to do with loose cognition. Entheogens cause their effects by means of a single general principle: the principle of loosening cognitive associations. Practically and tangibly, the way that loose cognition is most easily recognized as such is through visual pattern construction and through improvising on a musical instrument such as electric guitar.
Improvisational electric guitarists were thus strongly urged on by the cannabis and LSD themselves -- "pot and acid" -- because the resulting loose-cognition state promises forthcoming money and fame and Guitar-God status by providing musical creativity fully on tap -- the muse is at your beck and call. The last problem the Guitar God has to worry about is where to find creativity -- the looming problem is retaining self-control, but even that is fine because that challenge provides recognizably transcendent rather than mundane thematic material, as seen in the song Bohemian Rhapsody.
A feedback loop was thus created in acid rock, a loop formed by electric guitar improvisation, entheogenic loose cognition, songwriting material, and status within the world of Rock as a creative artist.
In this sense, music most clearly reveals loose cognition as the root of the mystic state. It is hard for a lower-intermediate level instrumentalist to improvise, but loose cognition makes it more than easy -- it is even scary how the insane genius level of improvision is blasted through one's mind and fingers.
It is scary to suddenly become a raving superhuman genius of improvisation and imagination -- God only knows what mad blast of brilliance will come next. This warrants calling them Guitar Gods, or Neil Peart a Drummer God -- superhuman inspiration of pattern-loosened inspiration is blasted through his mind and hands, with Neil merely as a channel that can at most shape the torrent.
I looked for specific and direct indicators of loose cognition in the original posting in this thread. I found two types: dynamic visual distortion, and turbocharged instrumental improvisation.
Turbocharged instrumental improvisation:
>Guitar jam - D and I spontaneously improvised some incredible music the likes of which I have yet to be able to emulate, it was caught on tape and analyzed by myself for one year, after which the tape disappeared.
>Played guitar extremely well.
Dynamic visual distortion:
>Faces melting, coming apart, cartoony.
>Random patterns appearing perfectly ordered.
>Glass melting in my hands.
>Grass and trees blowing in the wind looked like cartoon.
>Entire field of vision becoming warped like fish eye lens.
>Flowers coming more alive with radiant lights and then wilting and coming alive again.
>Closed eye visions.
>First hidden paintings visions on acid (carpet, wood floors, etc.).
>Saw abstract, shifting, melting images in everything, strobe effect.
>Had random images like I was dreaming while awake.
>Face mutations in mirror.
>Watched dancing images in television static.
Other features specifically suggesting loose cognition:
>Saw "the trip of all possible trips" and it was a game where you had like a remote control and you could access any permutation of reality at will.
>The solidity of reality loosening - the possibilities.
Some lyrics alluding to dynamic visual distortion include:
wall street shuffles
behind my beloved waterfall
shifting shafts of shining
pavements may teem with intense energy, but the city is calm in this violent sea
sea spray blurs my vision, the waves roll by so fast
wave after wave will flow with the tide, and bury the world as it does
features distorted in the flickering light, faces are twisted and grotesque
wind in my hair shifting and drifting
a tired mind become a shape shifter
sunlight on chrome
become a shape-shifter
Experiences of Radical Personal Transformation in Mysticism, Religious
Conversion, and Psychosis: A Review of the Varieties, Processes, and
Consequences of the Numinous
Harry T. Hunt, Brock University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 2000, Volume 21, Number 4,
Pages 353-398, ISSN 0271-0137
After an overview of the phenomenology of numinous experience in mysticism, conversion, and related states in psychosis, the intersection and distinction between contemporary transpersonal psychologies of spiritual development and psychodynamic/clinical perspectives on pathological states is addressed from cognitive-developmental, psycho-physiological, personality, and socio-cultural perspectives. Debates about the nature of mystical and conversion experiences have a long history in the psychology of religious experience and raise fundamental methodological issues concerning the potential inclusiveness or narrowness of the human sciences. A genuine psychology of numinous experience and its impact on life histories must find its way between the twin dangers of "over-belief" and false reductionism.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Harry T. Hunt, Ph.D., Department of
Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1.
>What is the difference between "higher" and "lower" pattern perception?
Loose cognition, such as provided by LSD, enables the mind to switch from the accustomed worldmodel to another worldmodel, particularly an egoless, timeless, frozen-future worldmodel. Lower pattern perception is restricted to familar cliche patterns of thinking and perceiving -- this mode of pattern-recognition is reliable and is supported by tight cognition, or tight association of mental construct patterns, such as the feeling of a solid sense of self as a control agent moving through time and exercising power to create one's future.
In lower pattern perception, the 3rd eye is closed; consciousness is settled down and immersed in the familar ruts of patterns and familiar mental associations, such as trying to improvise on a musical instrument but ending up playing the same patterns inadvertently. Having a recognizable personality relies on such habitual patterns of dynamic mental construct associations.
During the mystic altered state of loose cognition, mental construct associations are loosened. The 3rd eye or consciousness is raise up out of its immersion in egoic routine patterns, and a higher or further-back point of view results. This higher point of view enables new pattern perception, and self-control and will and self and time are all seen from above, from a different point of view. Time appears frozen, thoughts appear to be injected into the mind from a hidden source -- and the mind is passively, helplessly given one thought after the next, without one's will being consulted. Self-control is seen as something artificial and distant from one's new locus of identity, which is consciousness.
Michael wrote in the intro page:
>>>Pattern-perception becomes highly flexible and innovative in the dissociative cognitive state
Melody http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Transpersonal_Psychology/ wrote:
>>I haven't looked in on egodeath.com for quite awhile.
Most of my new material from the past few years is in the egodeath discussion group, not yet migrated to the egodeath website.
It is hard to identify the best discussion groups and spend the time posting there. For sheer practical reasons, I've fallen back too much posting in just a few groups, purely for reasons of limited attention, not because they are the best groups or the best use of my time. Pure familiarity and habit -- those same reasons prevent people from discovering my discussion group.
I would like to discuss the shortcomings of Ken Wilber in the transpersonal psychology group. Wilber writes almost nothing about the Hellenistic Religions, entheogens, and determinism -- just enough to demonstrate that he knows next to nothing about these three closely interrelated subjects. His crucial oversight is my opportunity.
Wilber's paradigm includes: free will implicitly accepted by default; meditation predominance w/ entheogens as "alternative simulation"; literalism about Jesus' existence
I take the opposite view on these three points, and pose them as the most central concerns of religion. I hold: timeless determinism; entheogens strongly predominant over meditation; all religion is purely mythic metaphorical description of the mystic state, with Jesus and crew being entirely mythical-mystical, and not at all literal -- same with Buddha.
All my other analysis of Wilber amounts to elaboration upon a paradigmatic difference based on these pillars.
>>Elaborate -- are you talking about "synchronicities" here? I think your sentence describes perfectly the CIA scene in "A Beautiful Mind" (Russell Crowe as a schizophrenic).
I'm talking about systemic pattern recognition, as in learning to perceive 3-dimensional shapes in stereograms. Perhaps Jung's idea of synchronicities is legitimate when interpreted as this sort of pattern recognition. Zen and mystic insight is a matter of, in a mystic state of loose cognitive association, perceiving things in a different way, resulting in an experiential insight about the relation of self, control, time, and world.
Alan Watts' book The Way of Zen portrays Satori this way -- against today's conceptions of spirituality as a lifestyle. I agree with Watts in portraying enlightenment, salvation, and satori as having everything to do with a change of understanding and perception of the world, and nothing directly to do with a change of conduct or lifestyle.
Improved conduct and improved concept (worldmodel) are two distinct threads of personal development. In the intense mystic altered state, there is a prominent experience of something akin to "synchronicities"; everything seems to be leading together toward some remarkable, tremendous goal: that's the real, legitimate meaning of "synchronicities". Everything *is* -- while in that state -- working in concert in a certain limited sense, but what's really going on is that the individual mind is in an esoteric mode of reading the world, such that a candy wrapper "means" ego death.
But the candy wrapper doesn't *in itself* intend to pull the mind toward ego death and enlightenment; the apparent concert of intention where everything that happens in one's experience points to ego death enlightenment reflects what goes on in one's mind, *not* the intended meaning going on out there in the world. One could even say that *God* intends all that's happening around the person in the mystic state to lead to ego death/enlightenment, and that the individual mind is *interpreting* all events as leading toward it. But it is incorrect to suppose that the candy wrapper and surrounding people all *consciously intend in themselves* to lead one to ego death and enlightenment.
The people and objects "are meant" to lead one to ego death, one could say, but what is the nature of this "meant"? To complicate matters, this lack of conscious intention applies to religiously retarded modernity, more than to pre-modern culture that has authentic mystic-state enlightenment. In an authentically mystical community, the people around one -- such as the Mystery Cult hierophant -- may indeed be deliberately and masterfully leading one on to the self-destruction insight that is ego death and enlightenment; a notable and outstanding exception to the rule "they aren't intending to lead you to ego death" is heavy rock lyrics.
The schizophrenic hears any lyrics and interprets them in a "delusions of reference" way, thinking that all songs on the radio are intended by the lyricists to lead him or other listeners into ego death and enlightenment. The schizophrenic is mistaken: not *all* lyrics are intended so by their authors.
However, there is a notable exception: in Heavy Rock lyrics, many lyricists themselves are in the psychotomimetic state and know about ego death and enlightenment and loose-cognition pattern recognition, and certain of their verses *do* intend consciously to pull the individual listener toward the ego death realization climax vortex.
In Beautiful Mind, the schizophrenic is looking for pattern recognition trends in pop news articles. This urge to pattern recognition is generally profound and legitimate: the mind has a circuit which is specifically designed for a particular pattern- recognition activity: the pattern recognition that is required for ego death insight as a mystic-state experiential climax. When not steered coherently, this innate universal urge for pattern recognition toward ego death climax ends up being misdirected into other directions, psychotic delusions of reference. Everything and everyone *is* out to mentally kill oneself, to cause some dreadful drama centered around oneself, in some sense -- but in what sense?
Pattern recognition is useful for other intellectual endeavors, but the main application is to learn to perceive the transcendent mental worldmodel; to bring egoic thinking to a mystical climax, to grow one's titan or golem until it goes berserk, goes out of control, and gains enlightenment as a dragon gains the pearl of wisdom.
>My husband tells me that in his past times of getting stoned in Vietnam, he used to have these tremendous realizations, which, upon sobering up, either didn't make logical sense, or became trivial.
The mind has a built-in sense of "tremendous realization", but there is only a limited range of insight that makes good on the promise; that general sense of tremendous realization is meant to lead to ego death and enlightenment, which is a particular set of experiential insights into the actual relations of time, self, control, and world. So the general sense is valid and a built-in sense, and is wholly valid when applied to ego death enlightenment in particular.
>>What makes the ethnogenic realizations more logical and important?
Entheogens are the most effective and reliable way of triggering the sense of insight and alternate pattern recognition; meditation provides just a glimpse of this state, by triggering the same chemical circuits but less effectively and directly. Reasoning (rational model-building) can be combined with entheogens more effectively than with meditation.
>I know there are ways to manifest a dissociative state without the entheogens as I've done it before, but I've temporarily lost that path due to lack of practice.
When using the visionary-plant method, lack of practice falls out of the picture. The only 'practice' in the plant method of triggering the mystic state of pattern recognition is the use of visionary plants.
>>>I'm talking about systemic pattern recognition, as in learning to perceive 3-dimensional shapes in stereograms.
>>I will have to look up "systemic" pattern recognition.
System-wide; perceiving patterns spread throughout mental content and processing.
>>>I agree with Watts in portraying enlightenment, salvation, and satori as having everything to do with a change of understanding and perception of the world...
>>So you are saying that this realization of determinism is based strictly on a personal *experience*, and one which most likely can only come to a person after ingesting hallucinogens. But what about for those of us who may not have a stable ego enough to go the entheogen route and come back in one mental piece? (have had bad LSD trips in the past, and psychotic breaks). Are we doomed to forever being philosophically ignorant and not having the ability to *know for sure* that block universe determinism is true?
>>>The schizophrenic hears any lyrics and interprets them in a "delusions of reference" way, thinking that all songs on the radio are intended by the lyricists to lead him or other listeners into ego death and enlightenment. The schizophrenic is mistaken: not *all* lyrics are intended so by their authors.
>>It isn't just people with schizophrenia who do this; a bipolar (manic depressive) also does this in a manic episode. Your candy bar analogy is good, however in my periods of loose cognition I tended to take labels and signs to have literal personal meaning.
>>It was fine as long as they had a positive message, (a bottle in my doctor's office has a label that says "Common Sense" on it), but trying to sort them out from the negative "messages" leads to brain exhaustion and ultimately an inability to cognitively function. I don't imagine you mean to take "candy bars" literally anyway, but what specifically is the alternative?
We have to discuss several aspects of the meaning of random things such as candy bar wrappers. Does God mean for the wrapper to have personal meaning for a person in the dissociative state? In some sense yes; in some sense no. According to the simple theory of ego death, God (or the mind's divine pattern-recognition circuit) means for the candy bar wrapper to lead the loose mind toward deterministic ego-death and transcendent ascension beyond the deterministic cosmos.
It is in-principle possible that the author of the candy bar wrapper is enlightened and included deliberate allusions to trigger and communicate ego-death enlightenment to loose-cognition minds, just as an initiated disc jockey prefers to play songs that deliberately allude to mystic-state phenomena such as loss of the sense of control.
The human designer of the candy wrapper may well intend to include psychedelic overtones in the text and design of the wrapper. In that case, the designer doesn't intend to communicate to a *single* particular person in the loose-cog state, but like a mystic poet, intends to communicate the mystic-state allusions to any minds that are in the loose-cog state.
>>>However, there is a notable exception: in Heavy Rock lyrics, many lyricists themselves are in the psychotomimetic state.
>>I would call that a trance. I think you might find Dennis Wier's descriptions of different kinds of trances and how they are made interesting (he discusses both mystic and schizophrenic trances): http://www.trance.edu Please get back to me on this when you have the time, should it interest you. I'd absolutely love to hear your response to what he says.
My usage of the construct 'dissociative cognition' or 'loose cognitive association' or 'loose cognition', as the key characteristic of the intense mystic altered state, is largely equivalent to his usage of the term 'trance'. I emphasize that loose cognition or trance is the mental correlate or result of altered brain chemistry states, and then I portray entheogens as the ideal trigger for altering brain chemistry state change and thus, entheogens are the ideal method of inducing loose cognition or trance.
Meditation is a way of triggering brain chemistry change without ingesting external chemicals, but meditation is also therefore less efficient, for typical people, than entheogens, for triggering brain chemistry change. For most people most of the time, meditation doesn't significantly change brain chemistry, and therefore doesn't induce loose cognition or trance, whereas entheogens do.
Entheogens are accused of being *too* efficient at achieving this brain chemistry change, which is an unfair and distorted portrayal based on the unspoken assumption of uncontrolled, extreme usage. Entheogen-diminishing meditation advocates nearly always compare controlled and moderate use of meditation with extreme and uncontrolled use of entheogens, when entheogens actually have the potential to be applied with controlled dosage and timing, thus actually offering a fully wide range of controlled use.
If entheogens are too dangerous because too effective, then simply use a smaller dosage. Overwhelming doses typically result in sheer mental chaos rather than increased insight, so that in many cases the ideal dose is an intermediate, somewhat moderate dose. Entheogens *can* be used in dangerous, overwhelming doses, but that is *not* a mark against entheogens -- it's a mark against *misapplication* or *misuse* of entheogens. Entheogens *when used as intelligently as any other tool* are more effective than meditation.
>>>When not steered coherently, this innate universal urge for pattern recognition toward ego death climax ends up being misdirected into other directions, psychotic delusions of reference. Everything and everyone *is* out to mentally kill oneself, to cause some dreadful drama centered around oneself, in some sense -- but in what sense?
>>Not always. Like I said, I have in times past labored to sift out positive "messages" from the "paranoid" ones. But *how* does one steer them coherently? Only by using entheogens?
Paranoia overlaps with being led to enlightenment about determinism and the illusory nature of self-control agency. Paranoia is a distorted, somewhat confused misreading. I expect that people who study the principles of deterministic ego death and perennial philosophy are less susceptible to the distorted, somewhat skewed misreading that is paranoia.
In the mystic state of loose cognition, the universe is intentionally leading one on toward divinization, toward ego death and rebirth, toward being an enlightened leader who can show others the way to deterministic awareness and the way beyond it to mysterious divine transcendence that is expressed in world religions. One becomes the messiah, the savior, one with the metaphysical savior idea (distinct from the "political military savior" sense that was intertwined in ancient religion-politics-warfare).
One's thoughts *are* controlled by some hidden controller outside oneself: by the deterministic Ground of Being that produces all objects and thoughts and actions, and that metaphysically overpowers one's own largely illusory power as a control-agent. So "paranoid" ideas are largely correct; but they are somewhat distorted, and need to be pulled into coherent alignment, to form transcendent enlightenment.
The goal isn't so much to sort out positive from paranoid messages, but rather, to correct the distortions of the paranoid messages, producing spiritual maturity or perfection: the renunciation of the freewill/separate-self delusion, reconceiving it as instead, merely a useful illusion of convention.
What is to be gained is a certain kind of mental integrity and an appreciation for the radically transcendent aspect of religion, which is able to acknowledge the tremendous and overpowering coherence of timeless determinism, and yet postulate some mysterious level far beyond that, while avoiding crass regression into the freewill/separate-self delusion that is fit only for animals and children.
In some ways, supernaturalist literalist religionists are closer to the mythic-mystic truth than are the liberal but clueless "demythologizing" religionists. Similarly, in some ways, the insane (people who are plagued by unwanted loose cognition) are closer to enlightenment than are the people who know only the tight cognitive binding mode of consciousness. This goes against Ken Wilber, who portrays insanity as pre-egoic, and enlightenment as post-egoic.
I consider insanity to be an uncontrolled unwanted release of brain chemicals that are properly and classically triggered through controlled use of visionary plants. Insanity could bring enlightenment, via loose cognition, but like meditation, has severe ergonomic problems compared to visionary plants. Meditation is safe but ineffective. Insanity is effective at bringing loose cognition, but is uncontrollable. Entheogens are controllable and effective.
It is possible to misuse and overdose on entheogens, but that is a problem due to misuse of the tool, not to a defect of the tool. *Any* tool can cause damage if misused. When used intelligently, in conjunction with studying world mysticism and perennial philosophy, entheogens are the most controllable and effective technique, much more so than meditation or abnormal psychology.
>>>Pattern recognition is useful for other intellectual endeavors, but the main application is to learn to perceive the transcendent mental worldmodel; to bring egoic thinking to a mystical climax, to grow one's titan or golem until it goes berserk, goes out of control, and gains enlightenment as a dragon gains the pearl of wisdom.
Or, grow one's titan or golem or centaur until it almost goes berserk, and in some sense goes out of control.
>>Yes, but is it *safe* for a person who has had psychotic breaks or bad LSD trips in their background to attempt any of this?
Everything in the world has some dangerous potential. It's a matter of context and degree and usage. The existing evidence suggests that with small doses, used in conjunction with study of world mysticism/religions and perennial philosophy, the dangerous potential of entheogens is lessened, while still accessing the potential for enlightenment. That combination is dangerous, to a lesser extent than if one took large doses and didn't integrate the study of world mysticism/religions and perennial philosophy.
>>>Entheogens are the most effective and reliable way of triggering the sense of insight and alternate pattern recognition; meditation provides just a glimpse of this state, by triggering the same chemical circuits but less effectively and directly. Reasoning (rational model-building) can be combined with entheogens more effectively than with meditation.
>>So, didn't you say before that you read difficult literature while on entheogens. This does it?
Research clearly shows that reading is difficult during loose cognition. To fully gain the experiential insight of enlightenment, the most ergonomic method for typical people is the standard classic method of enlightenment: the integrated combination of visionary plants interspersed with the study of world mysticism/religions and perennial philosophy such as studying my theoretical model of the ego death and rebirth experience.
>>>I agree with Watts in portraying enlightenment, salvation, and satori as having everything to do with a change of understanding and perception of the world...
>>So you are saying that this realization of determinism is based strictly on a personal *experience*,
The fullest realization of determinism is based on personal mystic-state experience, integrated with intellectual study and reflection on models of space, time, world, will, control, self-concept, and personal agency. The ancients combined heavy use of personal mystic-state experience with some degree of metaphysical or philosophical model-building, though in the modern era we have the potential of doing a better job of both aspects than the ancients did, combining more ergonomic entheogens with more explicit and potent philosophical worldmodels.
I consider ancient transcendent worldmodels to be hazy and indirect, compared to the best of potential modern transcendent worldmodels.
I intend my systematization of transcendent knowledge to be clearer, more direct, and more explicit than the ancient models. Some ancient mystic-philosophers mention that there are relatively more and less explicit models of transcendent knowledge, but that falls short of actually explicitly *defining*, or providing a definition of, an explicit model of transcendent knowledge. Does my model agree with the ancients'; is my model the same as that of the premoderns? It is essentially the same, but clearer, more explicit, more specific, more direct, more ergonomic.
>>and one which most likely can only come to a person after ingesting hallucinogens. But what about for those of us who may not have a stable ego enough to go the entheogen route and come back in one mental piece? (have had bad LSD trips in the past, and psychotic breaks).
How did ancient Tradition of enlightenment and mystery-religion initiation deal with this problem? Was the ancient visionary-plant religion actually a way of curing insanity? Was there a lower incidence of insanity due to the integrated use of visionary plants in determinism-aware initiation-religion?
To some extent, insanity is internally-triggered religious initiation, not taken through to completion with the full understanding of cosmic determinism and its ramifications and trembling fearsome problems for the would-be power-wielding personal controller agent, and taken all the way through to fully comprehending the tremendous benefits of the rational mind's ability to postulate a realm of compassion and rescue lying above and outside the rational, deterministic realm of thought and experience.
doomed to forever being philosophically ignorant and not having the ability to
*know for sure* that block universe determinism is true?
It's unclear whether we ever can know anything metaphysical for certain. But we *can* know for sure that the mind carries the potential to think about the impressive coherence of the deterministic worldmodel, in conjunction with feeling and sensing cosmic determinism, such that all of one's thoughts at all times are timelessly frozen into a single spacetime block.
We can't know that thoughts are deterministic -- all theoretical knowledge is subject to revision and adjustment and correction -- but we *can* know that we can have an awesome experience of ego death, rebirth, and enlightenment; we can certainly experience, and certainly know that we can experience, the mystic-state climax and release, both through experiencing determinism and through experiencing a kind of transcendent divine ascension beyond determinism and finite rationality.
Would you and could you release your dependence on rationality, if your life and near-future viability depended on it? Yes: we are so designed; this comes as great news (a redeeming higher revelation that returns our practical freedom to us) when rationality is discovered to reduce personal power to nothing, and to dangerous turbulent instability, in the face of the deterministic conceptual and experiential worldmodel.
>>Would you and could you release your dependence on rationality, if your life and near-future viability depended on it?
This move is not a simple rejection of rationality, but as a stabilizing transcendent extension added to ordinary rationality, and a rejection of some accustomed limits on what constitutes rationality.
These speculations are likely; for example, dried Amanita caps have a "beaten copper" sheen.
Esotericism in general is a more or less efficient expression and embodiment of entheogen determinism philosophy-religion -- often heavily encoded, indirect, roundabout, obscured; whereas it's time for a clear explanation of the encoding, with a direct, straightforward, non-metaphorical presentation of the core ideas.
Most religious-philosophical esoteric systems are dark, distorted, obscured expressions of entheogen determinism, now at last explicitly systematized ergonomically. Alchemy, for example, obscures as much as revealing -- but underneath it all is entheogen determinism.
[[is this post a dup in this file?]]
>From: jamesjomeara [mailto:jamesjomeara~at~yahoo.com]
>Sent: Sunday, January 04, 2004 5:49 PM
>Subject: [egodeath] Re: "Flexible pattern perception"
>Simon Whitechapel has written of the possible involvement of Evelyn Waugh in black magic and Crowleyism.
>The pudgy little reactionary had many unsuspected depths. For example, he anticipates Michael Hoffman's distinction between enlightenment and moral behavior, when, responding to a woman who asked why such a faithful Catholic acted like such an ass: "Madame, imagine how bad I would be without my religion."
>Also, Auberon Waugh, the son, was quite public in his support of latterday Crowleyite Genesis P-Orridge during latter's persecution in the UK.
>Here, at the conclusion of Brideshead Revisited (being run as a marathon by the Trio cable channel this weekend) we find his version of Hoffman's candy-bar:
>"Something quite remote from anything the builders intended, has come out of their work, and out of the fierce little human tragedy in which I played; something none of us thought about at the time; a small red flame-- a beaten-copper lamp of deplorable design relit before the beaten-copper doors of a tabernacle; the flame which the old knights saw from their tombs, which they saw put out; that flame burns again for other soldiers, far from home, farther, in heart, than Acre or Jerusalem. It could not have been lit but for the uilders and the tragedians, and there I found it this morning, burning anew among the old stones."
>The whole romantic novel mechanism of BR: Sebastian, sodomy, alcoholism, Anthony Blanche ("I'll introduce you to Cocteau" = opium), adultery, etc. is designed by God to bring Charles Ryder and Lord Marchmain "back to the faith of my fathers." All are puppets ("He seems a perfect poppet," says Julia about Charle's annoying father; perfect = Cathar perfecti?) to serve the enlightenment of the pre-destined saved.
>Is there entheogenic significance to a "small red flame"? The "old stones"?
>The "deplorable design" we learned at the begining is specifically Pre-Raphaelite; the Marchmains convert to Catholicism like many aesthetes, and add a PR chapel; allusion to drugs and decadence? ("Stay away from Anglo-Catholics," Ryder is warned at the begining; "they are all sodomites with deplorable accents." Note repetition of adjective to tie this in. Sodomy = Buggery = Gnosticism (from Bulgar, Boromil, etc.)
>Note the rather unmotivated reference to Jerusalem. (The other Flyte family members, we just learned, are in various parts of Palestine. Sure.) "Jerusalem or Acre": Allusion to the Templars and their secrets? We've just been told that occupying soldiers have beheaded a statue. The head of Bathometh, which the Templars worshiped? Breaking open the head?
>The repeated mention of soldiers, stones and tombs irresistably calls to mind Mithras (the God reborn from the rock, later adapted by Xtians as the rock tomb, whose stone is rolled away, "as I found it this morning").
>I am finding myself relating to Neil Peart's lyrics on a very personal level. "Living on a lighted stage approaches the unreal for those who think and feel in touch with some reality beyond the gilded cage." What others may view to be unsocial, maladjusted behavior may in fact be a reaction to an extraordinary sensitivity to metaphysical reality. But "those who wish to be must put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme."
That's the valid personal but mundane reading -- there's no transcendent mystic-state experiencing in it.
My analysis of Limelight lyrics is currently at
To that I should add the notes:
With insufficient tact [can be heard as "Within's a fish intact"]
Must put aside the alienation, [ignorance of the uncontrollable transcendent controller]
Get on with the fascination [the ego death experince draws the psyche to it like a tractor beam]
The real relation, [the relation between personal secondary control and the transpersonal uncontrollable transcendent primary control agent (the "giant boy" above)]
>"What is the difference between a psychotic or LSD experience and a yogic, or a mystical? The plunges are all into the same deep inward sea; of that there can be no doubt. The symbolic figures encountered are in many instances identical. But there is an important difference. The difference- to put it sharply- is equivalent simply to that between a diver who can swim and one who cannot. The mystic, endowed with native talents for this sort of thing and following, stage by stage, the instruction of a master, enters the waters and finds he can swim; whereas the schizophrenic, unprepared, unguided, and ungifted, has fallen or has intentionally plunged, and is drowning. Can he be saved? If a line is thrown to him, will he grab it?"
>Myths to Live By
Campbell misses the key religious theme of rescue: depending on the divine transcendent uncontrollable Will to rescue you. I would ask of the inspired mystic schizophrenic: His control power is dead -- can be be saved? Will God cause him to grab the rope thrown by God to him? If the mystic manages to swim, it is because he attributes this ability not to his own power as a prime mover, but rather, ultimately because of the uncontrollable divine power causing him to successfully swim.
Schizophrenia is the same as visionary plants such as acid and DMT in that it is loose cognition (loose mental construct association binding). Two things characterize the dysfunctional schizophrenic: loose cognition, and breakdown of ability to bring mental constructs together. In an entheogenic mystic session, there is loosened cognition, but during the session and especially afterward, the stable ordinary egoic dynamic mental constructs or mental structures are available and intact.
Other systems of religion and transcendent knowledge are unable to orgasm. They are impotent and cannot give rise to a death-and- rebirth. They can't blow the mind.
What is the mind-blowing idea? The idea of a single inevitable future, with the power of the steering-homunculus as an illusion. One's steering efforts do produce an outcome, but only one outcome is possible, and the mind cannot steer the steering.
The steering happens forcefully, without being itself steerable. In practice, this can feel like oneself as a controller-agent is reduced to passive watching of whatever thoughts are presented by the mind -- one is reduced to a passive watcher-god, a fixed eye-in-a-vat with no muscle at all.
A pure, unmovable camera lens -- moving through time, perhaps, but not a pannable lens. The eye of awareness sees what the eyes see when they are turned left, or right; or sees this idea or that, but the Eye cannot affect which thoughts arise.
The mind, as distinct from consciousness, remains, and is active and exerts mental-muscular force to pick and choose and steer among ideas, but one's identity-center is lifted and reduced to pure awareness without even the ability to steer the camera.
The lower mind, along the time axis, gives rise to this and then that idea. More passively, we can say that the ideas arise in the mind, through the mind.
The mind may have the power to make these ideas, and we can use all our conventional phrasings to talk about this mind exerting the force of creating one's future stream of thoughts and the mind steering its way through thoughts, creating them.
However, there are two distinct networks of meaning to attach to these conventional phrasings, and the challenge is to convey the transcendent network of meaning, overlaid on the same set of terms.
Clumsy poet-theorists say "time is unreal, control is unreal, ego is unreal, choice is unreal, control-power is unreal." But that is pathetically inadequate at expressing the new meanings attached to the familiar old accustomed terminology.
Time exists; the only question is its nature. Control exists; the only debate is its nature. Same for all other contested terms. Freewillists and determinists both agree that control and choice exists.
Saying "choice doesn't exist" is hopelessly clumsy use of terminology, and no camp is satisfied with saying "choice doesn't exist". The *entire* issue is the *nature* of choice, not simply whether it is true or false, real or unreal.
The new initiate says "I am dead. I have no power. My freedom is an illusion. I cannot choose." The Zen master responds, "Nonsense! You just chose your words when you constructed those statements. How can you be dead when you are standing here bothering me with your nonsense? You have the power and freedom to duck if I smack you, like so. So much for your profound revelation. Who do you think you are, anyway?"
First, we say there is ego, time, control, an open future, and choice. Then, as a new initiate, we say there is no ego, time, control, open future, or choice. Later, having learned to intend both networks of meaning distinctly, we again say that there is ego, time, control, an open future, and choice.
If ego doesn't exist and is unreal, why do the pop spiritualists disparage it? They are clumsily struggling to differentiate between two senses of these terms such as 'ego', 'real', 'illusion', and 'exist'.
The advanced thinker knows that words have two meanings -- the same words and phrases can participate in both the egoic network and the transcendent network of meaning, connotation, or intention.
There are two importantly distinct networks of indexing mental- construct association matrixes -- the egoic and the transcendent.
Common spiritualists attempt to define a different kind of transcendence, but their networks of meaning remain in the egoic network of meaning. Per Wilber, they are merely translating (insignificant "sideways" shuffling-around) instead of transforming (significant "upwards" global re-conceptualizing).
Such common attempted systems of spiritual transformation are not doing deep-level reindexing of mental-construct association matrixes. They cannot blow the mind, but can only produce more of the same, more permutations and exercises of the same old egoic network of meaning, connotations, and mental associations.
Such is false religion, and newage is just orthodox State Religion renamed. State Religion has always been false and impotent religion of exoteric pageants of the status quo.
New Age religion is the same orthodox religion that the truly religious have always shunned for a more transformative and vital, real, esoteric religion such as the entheogenic mystery-religions as opposed to the State religion of the boringly anthropomorphic gods of Olympus.
Someone wrote the following in the discussion group, and I added commentary in brackets:
>rains bath [visual distortion = 'water cleansing'] a cleansing breath ['spirit'] upon creations crest bottles sent to drift [subjectivity in a cave of mental constructs = 'looking out through bottle in water']
>messages in oceans rift mass equations equals not minus plus [=, not - or + (?)] some further
>abstraction of the great unknown balancing ["We will call you Cygnus the god of balance you shall be" - Rush] further direction from every
>angle exp shadows walk ing run ing fly ing around circumference sound in
>the between serenity [compassion, love, life preservation as desperately valued during peak] salvation of matter a break from the cycles of being [cycles of ego death & rebirth into egoic thinking, until full enlightenment]
>two tempt the fates [near-future thoughts are fated: to tempt and test this is to trigger glorious doom of ego death] fearless mortal immortal soul [for "mortal" read "egoic thinking is *perishable*, weakly based, not viable when examined closely"; for "immortal", read "imperishable, enduring when put to the test"] stretched throughout the
>dimensions catalyst conditioning simplest identification ego sweat sound
>indifference to all worldly matters complacent edification absence of obsess
>bleed free the fruit ambrosia [entheogens] red like mud roots risen from the depth to the
>skies above fresh matter from the antiquated spheres ["hearing and merging with music of the graded planetary spheres": the astrological initiation school] built long ago by the
>super ego less laughter of children playing games with a marble an a star
>starring ["star" is linked with a person's destiny, to be enlightened is to become a star in astrotheology] straight into the eyes of man built by pillars of life long
>foundation an connection to the fate of the unknown progression [future thoughts are fated but presently unknown -- however, the progression of initiation is basically known] in life
>long ideas of this an that perception
Taking entheogens doesn't automatically or inevitably result in religious experiences. Entheogens are an extremely strong facilitator of religious experiences, with a high correlation with religious experiences. Today's prohibition situation distorts and reduces the religious potential of entheogens. Most of what is published about entheogen experiences is by people who are young and barely educated, and by older people who have had one or two experiences.
Only when we have a large number of highly educated people who have used entheogens ten times or more can we start to give religious experiencing through entheogens a fair chance.
Schizophrenics effectively have a frequent injection of entheogens, so their mental structure neither stabilizes in the egoic mode nor shifts coherently to the transcendent mode (two specific mental worldmodels with regard to self, time, space, and control). The schizophrenic mind doesn't have multiple coherent personalities, but rather, dis-integrated and fragmented cognition that doesn't amount to even one personality.
The ideal path is from a stable egoic deluded worldmodel, through a series of loose-cognition sessions, to a stable transcendent worldmodel that retains the practical use of the egoic deluded worldmodel. The schizophrenic trajectory is from a mostly stable egoic structure, to an incessant series of loose cognition episodes, leading not to stable transcendent structure of worldmodel, but to a chaotic mix of egoic structural fragments and transcendent structural fragments.
Today's typical young entheogen users have a stable ego, but don't move on to a stable transcendent structure, because of the lack of that higher stable structure in the general population. Why does the modern era lack the stable presence of the specific, stable, mental worldmodel among adults? Because of the lack of entheogens and because of the half-hearted commitment to rationality.
If you add high eduction, commitment to rationality, and serious use of entheogens, with a goal of studying mental phenomena including personal control, religious experiencing and religious insight result. Today, under these conditions, it takes a particular mindset to use entheogens seriously in combination with rationality: something like Douglas Hofstadter's AI/Cognitive Science approach including the interest in strange loops in consciousness.
At the same time as high worldmodels are lacking and impoverished, and not integrated with rationality, so are the low worldmodels dominant. Ideally we'd have the low worldmodel and the high worldmodel available in society. Instead, the low worldmodel is overdeveloped and shuts out the actual high worldmodel. Egoic thinking is so totally dominant, even in religion, which is lowest-level religion or middle-level religion, that it becomes much harder to break away into higher thinking.
There are two approaches to meditation: clearing all content from the mind; and watching whatever content happens to appear, while holding the goal to be insight rather than absence of cognition. In the mystic state of cognition, the thoughts are loosened so that they can either rush more than ever, or suddenly halt and lockup and stop entirely, for moments.
To experience God, the mind must transcend thought, in a certain sense; awareness must lift out of immersion in the usual thought structures. Loosening cognition enables this distancing and elevating of awareness. As mental structures loosen and dis- integrate, or better, "disengage", awareness separates out from cognitive structures.
Awareness can attend to itself creating meta-perception (seeing mental constructs as such) and the white light feedback of meta- awareness -- awareness of awareness itself.
The goal is not cessation of thought, but the disengagement of the accustomed patterns and structures of thought, and the disengagement of awareness from the accustomed mental construct structures. To see God most fully, the mind needs to assemble new kinds of mental constructs -- new kinds of thought -- and also separate out thought from awareness in such a way that cessation of thought is possible.
But cessation of thought is only an *ability* that is part of this whole new mental arrangement. Quitting thought does not cause seeing God. The ability to stop thought is merely a part of the whole new mental configuration in which seeing God becomes possible.
Something about the chain of life-sustaining attitude across time is divinely aligned. The one who encounters and grasps the truth is as a puppet undergoing forced control-loss seizure -- but is released by the divine, and allowed to go on and sustain their life and procreate. If enlightenment normally ended up in life-destroying mayhem that rendered practical life unfeasible, then knowledge of truth would always lead to a practical dead-end.
After the puppet-self, the practical egoic control agent is wrecked and sacrificed, practical control is returned and resumed. If it weren't resumed, full enlightenment would mark the end of one's practical life; it would lead to impractical state of insanity or psychosis, psychotic transcendence of egoic controllership.
The peak mystic state must be analyzed in terms of psychotic loss of practical controllership: the crazed women, possessed by Dionysus, tear the poor little spotted fawn to pieces, leaving legs and bones and pieces of spotted tawny hide.
This is not just some ordinary state of consciousness clever superficial symbol and metaphor like early 20th Century "explanations" and "solutions" of mythic meaning ("it really means the planets and sun"; "it really means crop fertility"); remember that mystic metaphor is based in experience and is a *report* of intense *experience*.
Tearing apart -- as in the many pictures of death with dismemberment in world religion -- represents cognitive dis-integration (loose cognitive association binding) and also represents the experience of psychotic frenzy tinge or potential.
Seek the psychotic potential carried in all minds, for there is the vicinity of the dragon's pearl: pluck the pearl from the dragon's claw in the stormy turbulent sea, losing your delusional life in the process.
Modern scholars, who have not integrated entheogens into their scholarly thinking and hypothesis formulations, wonder why Jewish mysticism warns about entering the mystic garden, and they wonder what the mystic garden actually means. Entering the dangerous mystic garden means ingesting visionary plants, which cause psychotomimetic dis-integration and self-control seizure, which require some miraculous stabilizing principle or technique, amounting to prayer to the transcendent divine realm to be compassionate toward the lower self.
It is logical that if God wants to be honored and worshipped, he must not utterly destroy those who he brings to see his glory and omnipotent power over their every thought. From the personal point of view, it would be absurd to lose all practical control and viable future life as a result and cost of knowing truth. Knowing the truth about our personal controllership ought to sacrifice and destroy the *delusion* of controllership, but not practical stability -- not the recognized yet practical workable *illusion* of controllership.
This is the principle of caring for the future selves, the future of oneself, and of being kept intact so that one can afterwards go about in a practical fashion, telling other people about the secret lordship of God, hidden controllership over every act of will and every thought. To permit his people -- those who recognize the truth about the illusory nature of personal controllership -- to have a viable future as a continuing community, God would logically have to not entirely demolish one's practical livelihood while showing the person who is boss.
The king/subject relationship makes this relationship concrete and easier to grasp. We must study sacred kingship/lordship and relation of king and subject, including in a violent military battle context -- that was based on mystic experiencing and sheds tremendous light on mystic experiencing. If the king seriously harms his people to prove and demonstrate his power over them, who then will be left to sustain the king's kingdom and kingship? He'll end up king over nothing, over no one.
The king needs to sustain and preserve his people, to sustain and preserve himself and his glory and his kingdom -- himself *as* king. The solution for the king, to demonstrate his power effectively so as to retain that power, is to *threaten* with death and catastrophic disruption of one's practical controllership. Who will the king let live, to populate and uphold his kingdom?
Ancestor worship is closely tied with this concept of the king letting live. This also ties with the parents deciding which children to let live. Ancestor worship is like acknowledging the chain of people in your past who created you and who permitted/let/allowed you to live, when they could have brought you to life and then exposed and abandoned you to uncaring, non-conscious, non-compassionate Fate.
In the mystic peak, you are like an abandoned or cast-away infant, completely exposed and vulnerable to Fate: what caring person, what transcendent king, will be your miracle rescuer and powerfully *care* for you in the midst of the abandoned wasteland? Images of abandoning and rescuing infants, who themselves grow up to be king, provided powerful concrete tangible metaphorical themes for Greek religious thought (which is to say, Greek reflection upon intense religious-mystic experiencing).
One's remote higher self, one's guardian angel/genius, has the power to magically grant a fervently devout wish for rescuing; one's "mortal", worldly resources and rationality add up to nothing. There is no rational way to command the return of self-control stability; only a transrational supernatural miracle can bring the dead back to life, only that aspect of oneself which is a divine devout magician -- standing in a long line of mystic initiator-ancestors.
Thus part of the purpose of the genealogies of Jesus through various lines of holy devout God-honoring transcendently compassionate ancestors, is to serve as metaphor for glorifying the principle of compassionate, though rationally baseless & free-floating, preservation of life.
The mystic in the psychotic throes of self-control seizure and divine crazy non-caring about oneself, has no rational basis for preservation of their practical future. Here, a miracle can, must occur; rationality surpasses the end of its rope, one has run out of all the resources one can muster, and is reduced to beseeching some remote rescuer. This is the main way compassionate rescuer deities were given birth in the human mind.
The mystic is imprisoned, sentenced to die, within this peak window of insanely correct logic -- the logic that leads to the HAL 9000 computer killing off the crew members to protect the mission, though the higher mission needs the humans to live, to be sustained into the future. When logic dictates that logic fails to provide practical self-control stability, the only possible solution is the miracle of helplessly receiving the attitude of self-compassion from on high.
Such a mystic is saved by thinking of himself as one in a long chain of such baseless, divine preservations of life during previous mystic-state peaks. One must learn to love and sustain the illusion of practical controllership, even while sacrificially killing the *delusion* of practical controllership.
Thus Abraham is the father of that mystic; the mystic is like Abraham and follows in the line of Abraham, and is like Abraham's near-sacrificed son: the mystic has become a "son of Abraham", or seed of Abraham, who is like a king who could have killed his subjects, but -- for no necessary reason, only gratuitous arbitrary compassion -- elected not to. Abraham, God, king, lord -- all stand in this relationship to their subjects.
The mystic when in the peak state window, stands like a king, like a God over his own future, quite prepared to cut off that future if such sacrifice would purchase enlightenment or right, integrated, coherent thinking at last. Abraham, God, king, lord, and mystic all are essentially the same, along with the chain of ancestors who permitted each generation to live.
All three religions of the book are officially held to be based on Abraham's near-sacrifice of his line's future. Abraham's sacrifice is as important as the Cross and the entheogenic Eucharist, for symbolic analysis in terms of tremendous, peak, intense mystic-state insight. To understand ancestor worship, and the Greek cult of ancestor worship, which address all one's line of forefathers as a single person, study Abraham's sacrifice, and study the idea that the king demonstrates the life-or-death power to choose who he permits to live in his kingdom as subject.
Bodily violence as metaphor for mystic plants, trials, and experiences
>How could it be good news that a wrathful, bloodthirsty dictator kills his own son? How could a story about shedding blood to turn away the wrath of a god be a good thing? Since when does the transcendence of mysticism have anything to do with the bloodshed and violence of religious myth? Who would even want to have mystical experience if it was as barbaric as religious myth?
All the terror, awe, violence is allegorical *description* of the intense state of mystic experiencing. Myth-religion-mysticism has a humorous aspect mixed in with fearsome experiencing of heaven and hell -- in world religions in general, such as the idea of wrathful deities and compassionate deities. Literalism cannot grasp the point and recognize the game or the language or conceptual mode of myth-religion.
Neither is myth just allegory for the normal-state psychological experiences of mundane life such as physiological coming of age as Jung/Campbell mythology mainly portrays it. Myth is only incidentally about planets, sex, fertility, physiological change, or ordinary-state psychological change; the heart of myth is allegory for intense mystic-state experience, in which literalist criticisms of "vengeful violence" wholly miss the point and the real action.
Buddhist myth, Hellenistic myth, and world religions have equivalent shocking allegorical violence as well, indicating that there is some natural ideational connection between intense mystic experiencing and metaphors of violence and compassion.
Supernaturalism misses the point, atheism misses the point, and literalism misses the point -- mysticism, or allegorization of intense mystic experiencing, hits the target. The heart of mysticism, myth, and religion is the intense experiential mystic state. The best way to think of this area is myth-religion-mystic experiencing.
A theory of astrotheology should highlight as much as possible the altered-experiential-state aspects of it. How can astrotheology be emphatically experiential? Gnosticism, Platonism, and Mithraism have astrotheological aspects that could provide clues.
World mysticism, world religion, and world mythology have a major overlap that scholars ought to recognize more. Only a minority of scholars recognize this, and then only poorly and hazily. It is a baseless assumption to think that mysticism is all niceness and is the opposite of negative ideas such as the idea of bloodshed and violence. Dionysus is torn to pieces and devoured by Titans.
Is that an allegory for mystic experiencing? Can we say that by definition mystic experiencing is all pleasure and light and would never utilize a metaphor of violence? No. The most common and standard thing in the world is to use blood and violence in mystic allegory. For example, visionary plants are divine flesh. The plant dies and imparts its lifeblood into the initiate, who is then killed, but is then rescued by the divine power and set back on his feet again, now regenerated and transformed.
Who would want to have mystical experience if such experience were allegorized as eating the flesh of a divine personal savior after tearing that savior to pieces? Many mystics would, such as in the Christian framework, the Dionysian framework, and the Shamanistic framework based on eating the flesh of god. Mysticism has to be reconceived as essentially shamanistic.
The allegory of Abraham willing the sacrifice of his firstborn son is an allegory for mystic experiencing. There are two alternatives for interpretation: either myth-religion is about barbaric violence, or it is about mystic experiencing and appropriately expresses the awesome experiences and trials in terms of violence.
In the mystic state, the divine completely overpowers the individual, so that the divine could force the individual to will anything, even the most undesired action. The individual will is strongly and clearly experienced as clay in the hands of the all-controlling hidden divine source, the ultimate prior source of all an individual's thoughts and movements of will.
The mind in the mystic state is attracted to this way of conceiving of will, self, time, control, and world, because that way of conceiving things has an ultimate beauty and coherence. This way of seeing things is experienced as danger, awe, fatal attraction, and victorious doom.
It makes good sense to descriptively allegorize this experience as being disintegrated, insane, forced about by the divine will, being attracted and led to will the sacrifice of one's young, childlike self-concept in order to gain a more stable worldmodel -- incorruptibility through burning off the mortal, corruptible self.
The divine realm that controls all our thoughts and movements of will *could* make the individual will go in any direction, and does make it go in the direction of sacrificing the usual way of thinking, and could make the individual will physical violence that would in some sense contradict, violate, and cross out the individual will. The highest metaphysical worldmodel coherence lies among such insights about the nature and ultimate source of personal control.
The mind is brought to divine realization in being brought to will its own violation. This is the all-night trial, wrestling with the angel, the killing of the firstborn during the night. How can the person be protected from this dangerous loss of control or loss of sovereign freewill agency during the long night? The good news is that the mythic realm can already sufficiently contain all this righteous demonstration of divine violence against the personal will.
The mythic godman saves people from having to demonstrate this righteous self-violation, while giving full intellectually satisfying realization of the illusory nature of personal control, while returning the stable and practical illusion of personal control back to the initiate.
The mythic image of Jesus willingly being fastened on the cross, or Prometheus willingly being chained to the rocks in order to bring the precious fire of gnosis to humanity, or the other such mythic fastenings to the physical, all are experiential allegories.
The initiate after ingesting the divine plants in the sacred meal has a temporary timeless experience of being fastened to or imprisoned in the spacetime block, followed by the experience of being lifted and freed from it when the initiate's mind is reshaped according to the divine way of thinking. Similarly, Jesus was removed from the cross and raised up into incorruptible life, and the apostles were released from prison, and Prometheus was later released by Chiron the good centaur (as I recall).
The good news is that one has looked upon divine knowledge and has only been partially killed; only the corruptible, lower, illusory, animal-like part of oneself was largely done away with, and one walks away not only with continued stable life, but with the illusion of personal sovereignty disproven: one has become sanctified, set apart, made holy, made a martyed saint.
One major idea is that Jesus was sacrificed as a full demonstration of extreme willingness, of extreme recognition of the dominance of divine power over the individual will (the divine realm is the hidden origin of the individual will). From the 'vicarious' point of view, the godman willed his violent death-by-fastening to lift up the initiates out of their entrapment in the deterministic cosmos: he died so that we live.
From the 'participatory' point of view, the initiates are crucified and die together with Jesus, and are raised into righteous, divine, reconciled, enlightened life together with Jesus. The good news is that the divine realm, although killing the egoic way of thinking with intense mythic-mystic violence (reflected throughout religious myth), provides continued mundane life and lasting transcendent knowledge.
The latter permanence, no longer susceptible to mystic death, is allegorized as incorruptible. This mode of explanation is primarily grounded in the intense mystic altered state, and cannot be grasped by the mundane, literalist mode of thinking. We may criticize the violent dimension of the Christian story, but religion in general has this dimension, and this dimension is essentially a description of intense mystic experiencing, and must be assessed as such, from such a framework.
Only when religion is debased into the literalist reading, does it become barbaric and truly violent, truly bad news. There is some bad news in authentic mysticism: the child's accustomed way of thinking is doomed; the mystic can't retain control when put to the mystic-state test, because sovereign personal control agency was illusory all along.
There is a price to be paid, to gain transcendent knowledge: the mind's lower worldmodel must be sacrificed and will only remain as a useful ghostly, virtual convention. We walk away with personal freedom and virtual free will only.
The good news is not entirely good; we *do* pay a price to enter the kingdom of god. you could say that Christ pays the price entirely, and we not at all -- but given that we become one with Christ, insofar as we *are* the mythic-mystic godman, we participate in the godman's paying of the price.
There are some equivalent elements in astrotheology: there are terrifying encounters when moving through the planetary spheres; there are protective measures; there is danger; there is a tearing through the outer sphere. It is hard to find studies about the mystic-experiencing aspects of astrotheology; more scholarship is needed. The most important and authentic part of astrotheology, like in all religion, is the allegorization of the phenomena of the intense mystic altered state.
Astrotheology includes its own allegorical expressions of divine violence and good news. Literalist Christianity is stupid, dull, and clueless; a travesty of religion. That type of Christianity has been used to control society, but real religion, including real Christianity, which is to say high esoteric Christianity, is an expression of the eternal universal good news.
The eternal universal good news is that there is a way to gain transcendent knowledge and awaken to but transcend cosmic determinism: by ingesting the sacred meal in a series of mystic state sessions, leading to the negation of one worldmodel and the engendering of a different worldmodel which preserves the practical aspects of the old while adding a more coherent model of onself as control agent.
This transformation includes feelings of bodily change such as disintegration and fastening to the spacetime block, and includes insights about the loss of the sense of control, and insights about the complete impotence of the personal will with respect to the divine source or ground of being.
This sense of loss of control over one's own will is strengthened in the extreme by the violent idea that one's will could be made to seek and acknowledge the transcendent truth about the illusory nature of control, even at the cost of maximal violation of personal will. A common feeling is that one wills full sacrificial violence against one's control-delusion; this is the experience of sacrificial ego death.
One wills violence against oneself as devil or demon, and wills to trample the demon when one wills to commit violence that is essentially directed against oneself as deluded self -- to gain transcendent integrity and mental coherence as a virtually sovereign control agent or virtual prime mover.
It's necessary at this early stage of struggling to form a viable theory, to put more emphasis on clarity, detail, and accuracy, than a concise summary. It is impossible at this stage to formulate a viable theory at the same time as making it extremely concise. People can say I need to be more concise, but that is an impossible request at this time. Welcome to the edge of theorizing.
No, frankly I *don't* expect most people to reply, or to be able to reply -- especially not the scorched-earth religion bashers who equate all religion with oppression and with nothing more -- people who know so little about mysticism, they are unable to think of any use of violent allegory in mysticism, as though real mysticism had no use for such a thing. Should I be mad at people for being innocent of knowing anything but the worst aspect of religion?
It is not easy formulating these ideas and laying them out. Many times, conversation with utter newbies, fresh from the worst indoctrination and rejection of it, isn't feasible or profitable. They ask me a question, I give them the answer. Too bad for them if they don't have the privilege of a completely refined and pre-digested, compressed summary. Frankly, I don't have time to write for utter newbies. They have to work to get on board and become self-educated, or be left empty-handed.
It seems like this kind of uneducated, 1-dimensional reader is found among the readership of certain Jesus-disproving books -- many people want Christianity negated, and aren't interested in learning an alternative reading of Christianity; they really aren't happy to learn that there is another reading. They'd rather have the simple story, that Christianity simply is false, end of story.
I'm out to make life harder, in a way, by requiring learning a different kind of Christianity, and a more realistic view of mysticism and myth. Now people have to take on not just negating literalist Christianity, but learning about world mythology, world mysticism, and world religion, together.
Of course it's not easy, or effortless, and I don't expect the run of the mill anti-Christian to be able to comment upon my rare esoteric theory, voiced be few scholars and only piecemeal and haltingly, that as far as the most important aspects are concerned, myth is religion is mysticism is shamanism.
It is possible to read all poetry, lyrics, philosophy, myth-religion, other writing, and dramatic themes, as allusions to the mystic altered state. Different materials lend themselves to this reading to different degrees.
Key themes of lyrical allusions to mystic dissociative phenomena
Studying Greek allegories in philosophy and studying myths, and studying double-entendres in lyrics, a game is revealed of seeming to talking about two apparently unrelated things at once: talking about political philosophy at the same time as mystical experiencing, talking about ethics at the same time as mystical experiencing, same for astrology, battles, history, and so on.
It's not that it only seems that they are talking about political history, but they are actually talking about mystical experiencing. That's too extreme. They really are talking about political history *and* they really are talking about mystical experiencing. The trick is a matter of poetic constraints. The rule is: when talking about a subject, always choose words that simultaneously cover the subject and mystical experiencing.
Plato's reasoning about political philosophy really is intended to cover that subject and at the same time, really is intended to cover mystical experiencing -- just as Rush's song "Red Barchetta" really is about a car, and at the same time, really is about mystical experiencing.
When I discussed Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, I defined several levels of songs: a song that is only about mystical experiencing, directly; a song both about a non-mystical subject and simultaneously about mystical experiencing, and a song about only a nonmystical topic. Vulgar and debased double-entendre is that which is simultaneously about sex and about a non-sex topic, using the non-sex topic as a way of really meaning sex.
A lofty double-entendre approach commonly used is to make sex the surface topic, with mystical philosophy as the higher topic alluded to -- as when "wanting you" is written so as to point to wanting union with the transcendent -- a Platonic theme. The actual meaning of "Platonic love" means using ordinary love attraction to lead an initiate to philosophical metaphysical union.
It's natural and standard to continue that type of theme by using *other* topics of interest to lead people to philosophical metaphysical union. The loose-cognition state excels at meaning, and goes into a sort of vortex attractor mode where naturally every topic, every snippet of text on discarded pieces of trash, are mentally read in the extreme interpretive reading.
This is what schizophrenic paranoid delusion is ultimately about or "intended" to be: everything *is* pointed at some goal, the real goal being experiential understanding of the truth about our nature as control-agents.
Delusions of reference are legit, in a certain way; everything in one's world *does* point to some cosmic central destiny for oneself, and that destiny is ego death, transcendent knowledge, cosmic union, remembering that one is the king's son, chosen by divine destiny to some extent, brought more or less close to "re-membering" where one came from, more or less consciously recalling one's true nature as an arm of the transcendent being.
When properly understood, this amounts to non-delusions of reference, and the good poet deliberately and skillfully talks about two things at once so that the meaning unfolds intentionally and most coherently. The result is inspired poetry that is inspiring poetry -- inspiring the mind to remember or re-assemble knowledge of the transcendent truth about the nature of personhood and control agency.
>>This availability of a systematic theory of transcendent knowledge is like switching from chaotic unsystematic explanations to sudden order.
Norma wrote (rewritten and embellished for ease of response):
>This experience of sudden order results in a sense of well-being and deep intellectual and psychic satisfaction. Ego-death involves the loss of 'positionality', meaning mental constructions of identity, the world, gender, religious orientation, political orientation, culture, and other learned and imprinted conditions
>Balance, harmony, and well-being should result, but psychopathologies in the lower mental worldmodel or mental operating system can result in overall dysfunction even after some degree of attaining transcendent knowledge.
>All prior mental configurations and worldmodel aspects are detached (and some might say in some way "abandoned") during ego death. Ego death and ego transcendence gain much value and meaning and theoretical fit, through this detachment of the previous egoic mental worldmodel or 'positionality'.
>Transcendent mental development inherently moves through and past the mundane toward the greater realm of experiencing and the transcendent worldmodel. A kind of natural selection is involved; the "mortal" and "perishable" aspects of mental functioning are renounced and cast off as childish erroroneous misconception, and those aspects of egoic thinking are retained with a major caveat: egoic thinking is a useful convention of illusion.
>The mind as a whole is transformed, retaining a modified version of the previous egoic structures. By no means are the egoic structures entirely abandoned in all respects.
>If the desire to move 'away from' the mundane world and egoic worldmodel are misunderstood as an effort to *escape from* the mundane world and demonize it as entirely bad and unacceptable, that becomes a destructive repression of the lower, rather than the successful integration, transformation, and *transcendence* of the lower mode of thinking.
>The lower, egoic thinking must be loved, chastened, corrected, transformed, and integrated into a more comprehensive worldmodel and mental operating system. If the lower, egoic thinking is *entirely* demonized, hated, and disowned without refined qualification, the ego delusion and confusion is only reified and strengthened, and the mind breaks down into chaos and confusion, or more commonly, into spiritual pride in which egoic thinking is falsely relabelled as transcendent thinking.
>Christianity has remained literalist and people run after Buddhism instead because Christian allegory incorporates bad 'parental' archetypes. When a person is caught up in irreconcilable personal mundane relationships, those have to be recognized and reconciled in order to enable ego transcendence. Otherwise, those dysfunctional mundane relationships are too interspersed throughout the psyche to enable successful transcendence, including integrating, transforming, and transcending egoic thinking.
>Arthur Schopenhauer is an example of this. He was an enlightened genius, but couldn't attain a harmonious state of living in the mundane realm. He became chronically pessimistic. He despised his mother and all women -- that is an example of what happens when one tries for transcendence without detaching from the egoic mental worldmodel or 'positionality' within the accustomed structures.
>The mind cannot hang onto all its accustomed framework and successfully move up to transcendent thinking in such a way that an overall harmonious mental worldmodel and mode of conduct results. Within his Christian framework, he was unable to see beyond [to?] 'the holy mother,' seeing beyond the mere level of the clouds, and into the transcendent level of the stars, because of his mundane irreconcilable differences.
Ken Wilber has written the definitive framework about how successful transcendence works by embracing, correcting, transforming, and integrating the lower.
The lower is largely a basis for the higher, as the seer Balaam's ass faithfully carried him all the way to the angel of mystic death but would not and could not go further (on his way to curse the Jews, paid by the hostile king). Balaam learned to appreciate his donkey -- his lower self -- and his eyes were opened to transcendent knowledge. (He then praised the Jews instead of cursing them.)
>It is through the mundane world that we are here, and it is from the mundane world that we have the potential for moving beyond.
>Every demon we see is of our own making.
All human rational minds start off life using the animal-like, child-like mode of thinking, which is based on the in-time, egoic illusion of being a prime mover and metaphysically free moral agent, moving through time, controlling and creating one's own thoughts and actions, determining one's own future.
The mind is designed to initially generate the ego-demon illusion, and is designed to later, during a series of loose cognition sessions, transcend and reintegrate the ego illusion, so that the mind no longer serious attributes control to the egoic homunculus, but now sees control as ultimately proceeding from the ground of being, and possibly beyond that to a transcendent controller outside the spacetime block.
>Mental disharmony and chaos derives from mis-interpretation of events. Before embarking on the effort to attain transcendent knowledge, people should understand that unresolved dysfunction on a lower level is apt to result in dysfunction in the transcendent level of mental operation.
It's possible that gaining transcendent knowledge can help people resolve dysfunction in the lower, mundane, egoic realm of living. Wilber has written in detail about the psychopathologies that can occur during psychospiritual development.
Brad Reynolds' summaries of Wilber's books:
Transformations of Consciousness: Conventional and Contemplative Perspectives on Development
Ken Wilber, Weber, Jonathan Lieff, 1986
Coauthored with Harvard professors Jack Engler and Daniel P. Brown (with contributions by Mark Epstein, Jonathan Lieff, and John Chirban). Emphasizes psychology, psychopathology, and psychotherapy. Wilber's three main essays were written in 1984 for The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. They demonstrate how to clearly differentiate, correlate, and integrate the spectrum of development, the spectrum of psychopathology, and the spectrum of treatment modalities.
This work uses Wilber's Phase 3 (1983-1987) model of psychospiritual development, in which rather than simple linear development of the mind through a number of stages, mental development is seen as a complex process consisting of several distinct lines of development: cognitive, emotional, social, spiritual. The mind maintain a balance among these lines of development.
Wilber's thesis thus emphasizes the difference between "transition stages" and "enduring structures" of development while providing a level-by-level summary of overall consciousness evolution, including possible psychopathologies and their corresponding treatment modalities. There is a universal spectrum of consciousness through which individuals develop at their own pace and in their own way.
The basic, simplest theory of ego transcendence describes the transition from generic, standard, typical, healthy egoic thinking to generic, standard, typical, healthy transcendent thinking.
As in the book Transformations of Consciousness, on top of this basic model of movement through stages, we can discuss abnormal pathologies in each level, distinct from the inherent basic flaws of egoic thinking, making a distinction between normal, healthy, stage-appropriate egoic delusion, versus dysfunctional, abnormal features that may be added to standard egoic delusion in particular individuals.
It is abnormal and dysfunctional when an adult continues in the animal-like delusion that is appropriate for children. Some abnormal features in adult egoic thinking may be a result of continuing in the egoic deluded mental worldmodel past the age for which that crude mode of thinking is appropriate, like a would-be racing cyclist continuing to use training wheels.
An adult who continues to believe in a literal Santa Claus is dysfunctional and could hardly continue on to normal transcendent thinking; their attempt to attain transcendent thinking would result in a dysfunctional, garbled mix of egoic and transcendent thinking, comparable to common degraded religion in which low-level religion is attempted to be elevated to high-level religion, resulting in a kind of monstrous travesty of transcendence.
Transformations of Consciousness: Conventional and Contemplative Perspectives on Development
Ken Wilber, Weber, Jonathan Lieff, 1986
Click "All Editions" to check availability. Also check Abebooks.com.
In the bookstore, you can examine this book within the collection:
The Collected Works of Ken Wilber, vol. 4: Integral Psychology, Transformations of Consciousness, Selected Essays