In the psychedelic state, the mind can escape and transcend the familiar moral restraints. It is then clear that morality is a human construct projected as coming from above. There is no logical basis for externally given morality; ultimately we have to just consciously pretend it comes from on high -- from talking with God at the top of the mountain, where no one can witness this conversation. Moses lied to everyone so they would obey his laws. Those who disagreed with him, he ordered killed; those who agreed with him followed his orders and killed the others. That is the basis for Mosaic law. So much for the ethics of compassion. And, if the psychedelics origin of Mosaic law is true, so much for the assertion that psychedelics make you kind and compassionate. This was a case of putting religious righteousness before compassion and love, as opposed to Jesus' emphatically contrary teaching.
I have seen indications that people have commonly grappled with the foundation of morality and moral self-restraint while in the psychedelic peak window. In the psychedelic state it is important to give priority to compassion, rather than religious commandment. There is no psychedelic morality; the vision-logic state is open and undefined with regard to morality and ethics; it can swing in any direction and thus requires some transcendent principle. Moses proposes the principle of adherence to laws supposedly commanded by God; Jesus proposes the principle of the primacy of compassion and love and forgiveness over destructive, slave-like adherence to an externally commanded code of external conduct. Mosaic law is destructive and heartless; one becomes a moral slave of a power-wielding commander.
In mystical rapture, one can feel a moral slave of a power-wielding commander -- a helpless puppet of the impersonal (or personal) Ground of Being that is revealed as the real, hidden author of all one's thoughts and actions. In this state, it is crucial to place compassion and kindness before proof that one has transcended morality (proof that one "fears God"). Abraham is the principle of the primacy of compassion over religious obedience. Abraham was *willing* to kill his son to demonstrate recognition of God's omnipotence, but instead killed a symbolic substitute, showing compassion. Here is a way to transcend the delusion of morality while still acting moral -- that is, acting kind and good rather than destructive: one must simply commit to the principle of the primacy of compassion rather than obedience to religious commandments. Compassion is emphatically not a religious commandment, it is a principle that one can transcendently choose to adopt. If you want to safely and non-destructively walk in the psychedelic peak state, in which moral restraint is experienced as a powerless illusion, there is a Condition of Heaven. It is emphatically not a commandment; it is a Prerequisite Condition.
Perhaps most consciousness researchers have not grappled with the serious problem of transcendence of moral restraint. But the terrifying problem of loss of moral restraint is an essential part of the loss of control that comes with ego death. I am fortunate that I do not need to prove my recognition that the Ground of Being is the real author and controller of all my acts. I have been rescued from having to demonstrate that psychotic-like non-responsibility, by letting another person demonstrate transformation from sovereign kingship to obediently self-sacrificing puppet in my stead. And that sacrifice is elegant as it is actually a *rejection* of sacrifice, and asserts that a symbolic dramatic "proof" is warranted and fully acceptable to establish deference to the power of the Ground of Being. In ego death, the mind recognizes that the Ground of Being has primacy over personal will because it is the creator and source of all personal will.
The Crucifixion refers back to Abraham's compassion and is similarly non-destructive. The good news that saves the psychedelicist is that you do not need to self-destruct to establish or prove that you understand the primacy of the Ground of Being over the egoic will. The good news is that the angel of the lord accepts a merely symbolic demonstration of total self-transcendence of personal will, and no death or destruction is necessary -- neither of you nor your firstborn king-son, nor of Jesus.
The crucifixion was a ritual drama employing mandrake to simulate death and resurrection, non-destructively. Abraham and Jesus then represent the act of choosing compassion over obedience to religious obligation. In the psychedelic state, one can feel obliged to prove that one has seen through the delusion of self-responsibility by destroying oneself, radically violating one's self-restraint. How can one have the fulfillment of proving self-transcendence, without ruination of one's life? Self-transcendence is proven by self-destruction, but there must be a way to symbolically demonstrate transcendent cancellation of one's will and desires, while preserving life, health, and goodness. How to prove that I have transcended my guidance systems, without merely going berserk? There must be a ritual symbolic way.
One can meditate on Abraham's choice of a substitute, and on the ritual drama of illusory death of personal sovereign kingship on the cross, and similarly choose a purely symbolic proof that one has transcended the egoic control system. How can Abraham possibly gain the promised land, which will come through the offspring of Isaac, if he kills Isaac? Clearly, if we transcendent people go around killing ourselves or our offspring in our demonstration of self-transcendence, humanity can never progress past ego death. As soon as you discover ego death, if you kill your control and destroy your life, you cannot have much of a life beyond that point, and humanity will never really reach or advance past the collective discovery of ego death. The advanced person, the self-transcended king, must be ready to sacrifice his egoic life to lead himself and the followers into transcendence, but he must also be permitted to live, or else ego transcendence and ego death will become essentially mere vulgar bodily death or incarceration.
To actually *live* in the transcendent state, we must forego literal proof of our ego death, must forego violent disproof of egoic self-restraint and personal responsibility, and have no practical choice but to settle for a symbolic demonstration of self-cancellation. To actually live in the kingdom of the realization of cybernetic truth, the transcendent mind must commit to the principle of the primacy of compassion over religious obedience -- compassion must be upheld as being more precious than proof of transcendence of the self-control delusion which is egoic thinking. How can there be a demonstration of self-cancellation of personal will, in such a way that the demonstrator's life and well-being is preserved? Jesus' ritual drama and Abraham's choice of a substitute sacrifice instead of his actual son (the promised king-son) shows how we can move forward *past* the demonstration of self-cancellation of personal will, to continue life and well-being after the delusion of personal self-authorship has been transcended.
Compassion is more important than proving understanding of the omnipotence of the Ground of Being over personal will and proving that one has transcended self-restraint. The correlary is that a symbolic substitute for such proof *must* be acceptable, rather than demanding destruction of the person as though realizing the delusory aspect of self-governance must be punished. *Must* we be destroyed in the process of looking upon the face of God? What kind of God would that be, then? We must trust that God *could* destroy us then, *could* force us to go berserk and ritually destroy that which we love, but that this is a compassionate Ground or God, who chooses not to. How can the impersonal Ground of Being act compassionate when one is conscious of being a helpless puppet controlled by that Ground? There is no way, yet one has no choice but to trust the Ground and depend on it, just as one *always* is completely dependent on the Ground even if one is not normally conscious of that complete, helpless dependence. It's strange that the delusion of ego seems more trustworthy, stable, and viable as a steersman than the omnipotent Ground of Being which gives rise to every thought and act of will in the egoic mind. We cannot trust the Ground combined with the transcendent mind, it seems, but can only trust the Ground combined with the egoic, deluded mind. It seems that delusion and egoic thinking are ballast; sin or error is ballast without which we would be floating insanely, untethered.
Practically, the act of kneeling down during the peak is an effort to stabilize and restrain thought, to come down out of the realm of godly transcendence of morality and personal control. It is an effort to separate from unity-consciousness, to lose overly bright enlightenment and regain egoic stability. This is a search for the way out from the inevitable, which is ego death, which is the logical necessity of losing control and actively directing control against itself to cancel itself out. From an anti-supernaturalist perspective, there are here two choices:
When these two alternatives are fully defined, they converge. The fully rational person who discovers their puppethood, and has time enough to develop a theory of it, is unable to act randomly psychotic. Like it or not, they have developed a style of orderly control, so that even running berserk would be an artificial dramatic act rather than reality. Either way, one becomes a conscious puppet/actor, exercising orderly self-command even in the midst of apparent disorder. The transcendent mind passes through a doorway of submission, a doorway of helpless dependence, *regardless* of what ritual one may choose. Ultimately, the realization itself and all involved actions become the ritual; action itself becomes ritual because it is hyper-conscious and is known to be artificial drama. One gains the consciousness of a dramatic actor authored by someone else, rather than egoic consciousness that seems to be really in direct, sovereign self-command, exercising self-authorship.
Watts covers volitional action and shows how when seen clearly, it is not volitional. Loss of control is control. Personal power becomes the same as helpless dependence. Self-authorship remains, in a way, and yet becomes helplessly being authored by the Ground ahead of time. The experience of freedom and security remains, in a way, yet helpless predeterminism remains, in a way. One's personal power becomes impotent power and yet at the same time, powerful. One can't help but act volitional. One is forced to act free -- what does free action look like when it becomes enlightened and self-conscious, when freedom conceptually collapses and is recognized as being pre-authored by the Ground? It looks more like puppet-drama, as the crucifixion was a puppet drama consciously put on by he who brought compassion, to replace the guilt and oppression that were spread in the name of religious subservience. Abraham's ritual dramatic abortive sacrifice was a puppet-drama, not involving guilt and oppression in the act of acknowledging dependence on the Ground.
Biblical religion presents a variety of forms or modes of submission, with different character. The issue might be what is the best form of submission or ritual acknowledgement of dependence.
The goal of Jesus' type of dramatic submission of the egoic will was to emancipate people psychologically and religiously from the yoke of religion; they were slaves of the law, which is not the best relationship between creatures and the creative Ground. A more compassionate relation of the creatures and the Ground is promoted by inner-driven morality directed toward universal brotherhood, compassion, and forgiveness. The sacrificial ("proof-establishing") ritual of Abraham, Exodus, the Temple sacrifices, and the Cross, are all *like* each other but are also *different* from each other. We must compare and contrast these various lambs that were sacrificed:
These are four distinct though related scenarios of substitutive sacrifice. These form a conversation with somewhat different usages of the same concepts. Why wasn't Abraham's ram-sacrifice all-sufficient? The Exodus lambs were sufficient for emancipation from slavery in Egypt, but still other types of lamb-sacrifices were needed for other sorts of gains. The Temple sacrifices of lambs didn't accomplish much except the use of religion to oppress the common people.
Does Jesus provide some sort of "final" and "ultimate" type of lamb-sacrifice? How is Jesus' sacrificial drama a better form of alignment among people, the Ground, freedom, and metaphysical dependence on the Ground? He was the slain lamb, the sacrificer, the slain victim, and the released victim, all at once: all roles, wrapped up in one drama, in which no one is really slain except egoic will.
Like Abraham, Jesus ultimately lets the victim go. Better than Abraham, no sheep is actually killed, and the king sacrifices himself, rather than his son (thus is more true to the ancient tradition of the sacrificial king, without the crutch of the sacrifice of a substitute king).
Like Exodus, freedom of the Jews is purchased: the apparent "sign" of resurrection effectively props up Jesus' emancipating doctrine of immediate forgiveness-through faith. Better than Exodus, in Jesus' moral system, people are given unconditional freedom. In Exodus, the Jews were freed from the Egyptians, but became slaves futilely toiling under the Mosaic law.
· Like the Temple sacrifices, Jesus' sacrificial drama purchases moral cleanness and release, but now, permanently, without needing continuous repetition. In the Temple sacrifices, righteousness was never permanent, and for the poor, righteousness was never forthcoming even for a moment, because they couldn't afford to learn and observe the complex system of religious laws and sacrifices.
Upon fully realizing our cybernetic subservience to the Ground, we are not all to "be like Jesus" in the sense of conducting our own ritual dramatic death and resurrection; rather, like in the Greek mystery dramas, Jesus offered a way in which we can partake of his ritual drama, even as nonsupernaturalists, by symbolically eating the god and partaking of the shared meal with the heroic redeemer figure. As one who walked in truth rather than fantasy, Jesus likely was not a supernaturalist, and offers this ritual drama with a way to partake of the heroic redeemer's symbolic death and resurrection. He offers a variety of modes of partaking.
Assuming some act of establishing consciousness of dependence is required, assuming some act of submission of the ego is appropriate, what would be an appropriate non-supernaturalist ritual dramatic act? Something new, not bowing or rolling on one's back. Not prayer, not partaking of the eucharist, not singing praise to God. Perhaps an act that is separate from the body: thinking the transcendent prayer.
Suppose you are an advanced non-supernaturalist. In the psychedelic peak, when the holy spirit weighs heavily on you and holds an axe over your cybernetic neck, you need a way to acknowledge the primacy of the Ground of Being over your own will, a way to acknowledge that your every thought and act is ultimately authored by the Ground rather than by oneself as a true egoic agent. Since the cross *can* be interpreted in a non-supernaturalist way, it *should* be. And a saying or transcendent creed should also be thought; one must pray this way.
The most adequate symbol of the conscious union of the will and the Ground is the mental utterance of the following:
I am completely a product of the Ground of Being. My actions and thoughts are ultimately authored by the Ground, not by an inner ego-agent. I am helplessly dependent on the Ground of Being, yet even so, I hold my head high in full self-command. I am a delusory co-author with the Ground. I transcendently adopt the principles of compassion and order, and have no choice but to have faith in the Ground to author my thoughts and actions as good and compassionate thoughts and actions. There is no choice but faith and hope, no technique for avoiding destruction of my life except faith in the goodness of the Ground which creates my every thought.
One must actively assert and transcendently assume that the Ground is good; one must love the Ground as though it is a personal, compassionate God, an author/controller entity. One has no choice but to act as though this is so, since one is in fact dependent on the coldly impersonal Ground. One awakens to find oneself a helpless puppet in the hands of the cold machine of the Ground. How to relate to this machine, when agency and desire, good and evil have flown, and God and the magic Jesus have also flown? Faith and trust are the only responses possible. One can only trust oneself, where oneself is now essentially identified with the Ground of Being that creates and pre-authors all of one's thoughts. Watts said that one must, in the end, completely fall back on and depend on the Ground, and trust it to create one's thoughts, actions, and movements of will. Or, one must trust that this machine-Ground was authored by a compassionate transcendent God (a caring entity totally outside the Ground, who created the Ground).
If you experience these insights, if you have ever been rescued by the concept of a substitute sacrifice, when you were on the brink of destructively proving your transcendence of the delusion of egoic self-command, I need to hear from you. This is not a supernatural rescuing by an angel or a magic Jesus. Rather, it is being rescued by discovering an "acceptable principle" -- the principle of choosing compassion and purely symbolic or substitutive (vicarious) sacrifice, rather than proving self-transcendence through major self-destruction or through destructive violation of your desire, or other destructive actions that violate common values of goodness (values which, in your egoic mode, you have always firmly adhered to). There must be an acceptable way to *nondestructively* establish your full understanding of the primacy of the Ground of Being over personal will. Enlightenment and ego death and ego transcendence should not require ritual acts of "evil" and destruction, to prove transcendence of egoic moral-control thinking. There must be a nondestructive way of fully establishing transcendence of egoic will.
What then is the nonsupernatural meaning of the symbol of the Cross? The Cross symbol represents reprieve from destructive loss of control, by the principle of compassion and transcendent faith and hope in the goodness of the Ground of Being. And it represents freedom from God's palpable dictatorship -- the respect of the Ground for our delusional personal sovereign agency. The cross is a negation of Mosaic law, freedom from the dictates of God -- the end of being externally and superficially commanded, in favor of being self-directed with the principle of universal brotherhood and compassion. The Cross symbol represents compassion, no need for proving one's awareness of metaphysical subservience, faith in the Ground as one's puppetmaster, and the full acceptability of the illusion of personal sovereignty. Living from one's own heart, even while knowing one is a helpless product authored by the Ground
Notes from _The Mystery-Religions_: "A sense of utter dependence on the help of the deity." Universal demand for spiritual support, for philanthropy of saviour-gods... You shall have New Life. Not only are you saved from destruction, you go on to exist in a new way, a new permanent consciousness. Fate might not be wholly evaded, but by union with the mystery gods its blows would not crush man. (How to avoid being crushed by the puppetmaster, Fate?) Life was threatened and made wretched by the tyranny of Fate. The mystery ritual supplied for distressed consciences a cathartic to remove the stain of sin. This salvation consisted in release from the tyranny of Fate. to thwart the menace of Fate. pious surrender to the Absolute. Surrender... (the ego surrenders... who, I surrender...!!! Surrender to the Ground of Being, and take an attitude of faith and hope and compassion.) Life ultimately triumphs over death (destruction). Divine drama. mimic representation. passion-play. gashed themselves with knives to PROVE their participation in the sorrow s of the god that they ight have fellowship in his joy. (transcending egoic will -- against self-harm). Consolation for misfortune. They afforded means whereby the harmful influences of the heavenly powers might be averted, and their beneficient energy turned to advantage. In that trouble age of cosmological perils it was no mean merit of the Mysteries that etey made men comfortable in the universe. Establish a close relation between the mystes and his God. to make men at home in the universe [in the altered state peak window] a man's religion is the expression of his ultimate attitude to the universe [to the Ground that pulls his puppet-strings] adapted to candidates of every level of spirituality. regeneration and the remission of the penalties of their sins. [Is there a penalty for realizing truth? There should not be; Jesus has paid the penalty for reconciliation with cybernetic truth.] without shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. [how am I rescued from destruction in the peak window by the blood of Jesus? He proved his self-t'c of his will, by his blood, so that I don't need to] [SELF MORTIFICATION] by personal bodily torture and discomfort, would expiate their sins and placate the deity. "to demonstrate faith"... [to demonstrate, PROVE, obedience, puppet-consciousness] obliged to winess or even to take part in a simulated death to produce reverence. symbolic death. to induce the initiand through the substitution of personality, to experience his identification with deity. Every Mystery-Religion, being a religion of Redemption, offered means of suppressing the old man and of imparting or vitalizing the spiritual principle. to die is to be initiated. the normal functions of personality were in abeyance and the moral strivings which form character virtually ceased or weree relataxed, while the emotional and intuiitive wereere accentuated. divine frenzy. non-moral delerium. We are his offspring. the security accruing to man from the fact that God is his Father: "Do you suppose that God would suffer His own son to be enslaved"? that the Holy Spirit may breathe within me. The chief aim of Epicurus, for which he was acclaimed a 'Saviour' by his disciples, was to deliver mankind from the terrors of superstition here by affirming the apathy of the gods, and hereafter by negating its existence.
Self-castration... yes, that would be about the most extreme; representing the self-cancellation of reproductive power -- of your Creator Power -- essentially what Abraham was about to do.
As Jesus was saved from the destruction of the cross, can we be saved by his principle of compassion and faith, from destruction in the peak window in which moral self-restraint is transcended as one becomes consciously a helpless puppet of the Ground.
According to Ayn Rand's friend Leonard Piekoff, altruism has a risk of leading to destructive forms of self-negation, and the camps were exercises in trying to kill the egoic will through consciously choosing destructive actions that are the opposite of one's will. But real ego transcendence actually requires no proof at all -- either through positive or negative actions; it needs no act of violation of one's will. *No act* can prove that one's will is enlightened and self-transcended. *That* is the good news that the angel of the lord brings: that no act is necessary to establish right understanding of the emptiness of the ego's power. The only thing necessary is right understanding, itself, and this can and must be considered fully sufficient. What can one do to celebrate and lock-in one's understanding that there is ultimately no sin, no moral agent, no ego, no personal responsibility, no personal blame or praise? Just symbolically commemorate the substitutive sacrifice of a lamb. Christianity is really the religion of the purely symbolic sacrifice. Christianity is really the religion of the purely symbolic PROOF of ego death and ego transcendence -- for *that* is the purpose of Abraham's (abortive) sacrifice: to PROVE recognition of the primacy of God (the Ground of Being, really) over one's own will. After fertility religions' exchange-of-life logic, what is the more recent meaning of sacrifice? Starting with Abraham, sacrifice is "the ultimate proof" of one's recognition of full dependence on God.
What the psychedelicist desperately needs in the peak window is a way of *proving* understanding of the primacy of the Ground of Being over the personal will. Some escape from having to prove one's understanding. Christianity provides a type of sacrifice that is a contract of "proof through purely symbolic, non-destructive means". It is the acceptance of purely symbolic demonstration in place of literal proof. God has *faith* that you are willing to self-destruct... we must have *faith* that Jesus was willing to die, and so didn't actually have to die. And we must have *faith* that Abraham was really willing to kill his son... as the angel had faith. Faith, sacrifice, proof, self-submission, violation of one's will... these are the heart of Christian sacrifice.
The major influence of Schopenhauer on Nietzsche. This is where Nietzsche took his ideas of the will, a cornerstone of his particular philosophy. Schopenhauer was the first to concentrate on the will as the basis and yardstick of ethics, logic, metaphysics, and epistomology (the four branches of philosophy). Nietzsche however made the idea of will as a primary force his own when it made it a conscious will that is not destructive but transcendent. The will then becomes the dynamic engine to something better, in other words the overman which reevalutes all that is considered reality. Kierkegaard dealt with the actual perceived reality and the making of a purpose for man inside it.
Infinite regress arguments
Douglas Hofstadter wrote a great deal about infinite regress and the 'self' concept in _Godel, Escher, Bach_.
Alan Watts wrote about infinite regress of self-control in an essay in the book _This Is It_, titled "Zen and the Problem of Control". This matches his passages on self-control cybernetics in _The Way of Zen_.
I think Marvin Minsky wrote about the subject in _The Society of Mind_.