Panpsychism, pansignaling, and Buddhism

Panpsychism means “all mind” or mind in all things, with an emphasis on cognition being a fundamental aspect or part of nature.

Pansignaling means “all signaling” or signaling in all things, with an emphasis on signaling being a fundamental aspect or part of nature.

I like the term pansignaling because it gets us to look at the signals, without which there is nothing.

Another word that is close to these two is panexperientialism, which connotes that “the fundamental elements of the universe are ‘occasions of experience’ which can together create something as complex as a human being.”

These ideas or similar can be found in the Huayan and Tiantai schools of Buddhism.

Highly recommend giving these ideas some thought and reading the links provided above.

I  tend to favor thinking of this stuff from the signaling point of view. A signal can be found, defined, analyzed, and so on. A signal is a fairly objective thing. When we consider signals and consciousness, it is very natural to consider that signals are parts of networks and that networks can be parts of bigger networks.

As I understand it, panexperientialism holds the view that atoms have experience, and that molecules have experience as do the atoms that make them up… and so on till we get to cells, organs, brains, human consciousness. Human consciousness, which is fundamentally experiential, is what humans mainly think of as experience. At all levels, the “parts” of human consciousness also are conscious or cognizant and thus capable of experience. Thus, there is no mind-body problem. Cognition or awareness is part of nature from the very bottom up. For example, a single bacterium can know to move toward something or away from it.

Life is “anti-entropic signaling networks” that organize, self-organize, combine, cooperate, compete, eat, and change constantly. From this, we can see where impermanence and delusion as described in Buddhism come from.

The signal may be wrong and it cannot but change, as must you.

A very small irrational thought

A very small thought can show how irrational thinking operates.

Recently, I have been putting more salt in food I make. I have some good reasons for this and one bad one.

The bad one wrongly believes that my partner does not at the table salt food I make enough, so I have to use more to counter this.

This thought comprised about 10% of my reason for using more salt when I cooked. This thought was subliminal, meaning it almost never rose to consciousness. And when it did its appearance was fleeting and went unquestioned.

It is a selfish thought or at least not fully considerate. As soon as I examined it I realized it is a dumb thought and discarded it completely.

This thought was wrong and irrational for obvious reasons. But it still had a small effect on my conscious behavior.

I noticed it while washing dishes and watching my mind at the same time.

This thought has an element of reason in how it is constructed: i.e. “because my partner does not do this, I will do this.”

But not much else about it is reasonable. I have no idea how or when this thought formed. Did it form subconsciously or in a dream? I don’t know.

I believe it stayed in my mind as a weak but partially operative “reason” because it is selfish (and thus less likely to be examined) and because it has a reasonable construction when put in words.

God Exists, the Rest Is Speculation

Kevin Barrett

David Ray Griffin is one of the world’s most important thinkers. I first encountered his work in the mid-1990s while preparing a Ph.D. on Moroccan Sufi legends. It quickly dawned on me that Griffin’s analysis of postmodernism was more sensible than most of the trendier literature on the subject, while his work on such empirical topics as the scientific evidence for psi showed him to be an uncommonly flexible yet rigorous thinker who followed logic and evidence wherever it led. So while most contemporary Christian theologians were not terribly relevant to my Islamic Studies related Ph.D., Griffin and his mentor, John Cobb, the two biggest names in Process Theology, could not be ignored. (Source)

Alt Right as the socio-political phenomenon it is and why you should know about it

At its core the Alt Right is pro-white.

As mentioned in a previous post:

I support a strong, clear white voice similar to the Chinese, Japanese, or Zionist voice. Similar to voices all over the world.

You have to be an idiot not to see the demographic danger whites face and you have to be an ass to welcome this, as Joe Biden famously has done.

Incidentally Buddhists, even the Dalai Lama has spoken out against demographic changes that destroy traditional cultures. He should know. Tibet is all but finished, overwhelmed by Chinese immigration.

The idealist fantasy of one world where all peoples are mixed (and somehow still diverse) may come to be some day, but this is not a good goal for the present.

The left that supports the eclipse of whites is violent. They do physical harm and they do cultural harm. It is the left that has brought about the destruction of American academia and MSM, both of which are 90% liberal and both of which act much more as propaganda organs than institutions that disseminate knowledge and information.

The supposedly “diverse” left does not support intellectual diversity.

I do. Here is a Q&A from a Swedish Alt Right person: I am Daniel Friberg, CEO of Arktos, co-founder of AltRight.com and author of “The Real Right Returns.”

I quite recommend this Q&A, especially if you are opposed to the Alt Right. The voice is reasonable and the positions clear. Additionally, this movement is not going away. It is based on demographic facts and a political reality that has for decades subverted national interests and voices.

Edit 1/25: This is from 2008, but it’s much worse for Tibet today:

The Dalai Lama accused China of “cultural genocide” yesterday as violent clashes over Beijing’s rule in Tibet spread to neighbouring provinces.

Misjudgement and misinterpretation are the fabric of human “reality”

Besides misjudging other people’s intentions (People suck at judging others), we also misinterpret our presents and pasts.

  • For example, for many decades few people in the West understood how severe mass murder was under communist regimes. Indeed, the first mass murderers of modern Europe were communists. That many of them were also Jewish is usually also scrubbed from the story. Here is a meme illustrating that simple point.
  • An article published just yesterday—Why Readers Shouldn’t Trust Staff Reporters—does an excellent job describing how and why US MSM is so bad. The writer focuses on newsprint, but TV is the same.
  • Interpersonally, we make mistakes about each other constantly. FIML is the answer to this problem for small groups of adults, but how many will make the effort?

I think that what is described above is a big piece of the modern version of what the Buddha meant by delusion. In Buddhism, delusion is the core reason for human suffering. End delusion and you end suffering.

Many people have the idea that Buddhist practice is all about being minimalist, feeling good, and letting stuff go. This ignores the fact that the Buddha was mainly described as an “analyst” and that diligence and perseverance are central to the analytical path of Buddhism.

It is through analysis that we free ourselves from suffering. If your sincere analysis shows you that MSM is lying to you, that the history you learned in school is distorted, and that most if not all of your interpersonal relationships are fraught with misunderstandings or alienating simplifications, you are probably seeing a big part of what the Buddha meant by delusion.

Delusion makes us suffer because it is wrong and because it leads us to make more and worse mistakes. We extract ourselves from deluded “reality” by using “truth,” insofar as we are able, and the Dharma as tools. Once a bit of delusion is seen for what it is, it is usually fairly easy to eliminate it from the mind. If you have never identified with it, this will be very easy.

If you have identified with it, this could be very hard to do. Why is that? The reason is identifying psychologically with something is a form of what the Buddha called “clinging” or “attachment.” Suffering is the First Noble Truth. Clinging (to the delusions that cause suffering) is the Second.

Life is self-organizing signals

Life signals can be biological and unconscious or biological and conscious.*

If conscious, signals can be variously interpreted by the sender, the receiver, or both.

If unconscious, signals are interpreted in only one way or in a limited number of ways.

Consciously organized signals make up such things as psychology and sociology, both of which have many variations.

Human beings generate, learn, send, receive, and interpret signals.

All signals have valence. If conscious, valences (like signals themselves) can be variously interpreted.

It is very beneficial when thinking about any complex matter to pay attention to the valences of its individual signals and signal networks.

For example, if you want to buy or rent a home the various factors that you may consider can all be thought of as signals with valences.

A “small place” is a signal that may have positive valences because it is cozy and easy to keep clean. And it may have negative valences because it is cramped and has no room to store stuff.

With some degree of rationality, we can asses these valences and decide which ones are important to us. If you are going to share the place with another person, you can both do assessments and compare.

Your conclusions won’t be perfectly rational but they will be clearer to you than if you did not do assessments like that.

Besides the size of the place, you will also want to analyze in a similar fashion its location, floor plan, cost, what’s nearby and so on.

The same is true for how to asses your own psychology or the sociology of your group, company, or nation.

If you do this often enough, you may decide to replace the idea of having a personality or identity with the idea of having an operating system that generates, learns, sends, receives, and interprets signals.

Notice that interpreting yourself (the signal of self) as an operating system that employs these few rules is a kind of self-organization. As such, it is concise (Occam’s razor), accounts for all data, has clearly identified parts, has explanatory power (you can use it as we did above), can be applied to all life including human psychology.

This is not the only explanation or description of life, but it is a good one with many uses.

____________________

A few notes:

*Surely there are other bases for consciousness than biology as we know it.

Life self-organization is “anti-entropic.”

Politics runs on simple signals because they are readily grasped by large numbers of people. Importing simple political signals into your operating system and keeping their strong public valences is not a good idea.

Politics teeters between left and right and there is no good middle. The middle is no good because the true middle needs to be a middle of complexity against two extremes.

Reason and rational thought are in many respects organizing principles, maybe that’s all they are. Same can be said for logic.

Personality and identity are also organizing principles, here applied to self and others.  Seeing yourself as “an operating system that generates, learns, sends, receives, and interprets signals” is also an organizing principle, but the data is clearer and more useful than that which goes into identity and personality.

US religious freedom law protects atheists and non-theistic beliefs

This is a good thing. Many consider Buddhism a non-theistic belief system.

Besides this law’s (probably insignificant) effect on Buddhism, which is generally considered a religion, it’s good because belief systems professed or adhered to by individuals should all be protected by the first amendment.

This law will also affect US policy toward nations that have regulations requiring citizens to belong to state approved religions.

White people and ethno-masochism

In the video below Black Pigeon reveals that he lives in Japan and has wide experience in East Asia. John Derbyshire, who writes on white identity, similarly spent years living in China.

I see a pattern when I add myself to this list. I spent many years in China and Japan. I’m pretty sure BP and JD came to conclusions similar to mine—East Asian nations are unabashedly ethnocentric.

The feeling is overwhelming when you spend enough time there to get what people really think.

One example is I have never seen on a white face a type of smile that is somewhat common in China and Japan (also common with Jews). That smile occurs when the person’s ethnic group is mentioned or when they speak from that point of view.

It doesn’t always show but if you are friends it will almost certainly appear during deep discussions of history or culture. It’s a smile of deep love, pride, and tenderness. I have never seen a white person display this smile.

After many years of being around people like that I started to question myself. I wondered why I didn’t feel love, pride, and tenderness toward my (white) people. Eventually, I realized that I was sort of programmed to despise patriotism, whiteness, my own ethnicity.

Another example happened when I was with some Japanese friends in Japan. They brought up the subject of David Duke to ask me what I thought of white identity politics. I hit the roof. Cussed out Duke and angrily insisted that people like him should never be allowed to even have a public voice since his views were so reprehensible.

My friends were taken aback, “But he is on your side,” they said. I remained adamant.

That happened over twenty years ago. I continued to be confident of my opinion for many years after that.

Eventually my mind cooled on the subject of Duke. I do try to be open minded so I decided to look into what he was really saying. I am not a huge fan of his, but his views are pretty tame, to be honest. He speaks and writes in ways that greatly resemble normal Japanese or Chinese thinking.

In 1950 whites comprised 28 percent of world population. Today we are fast approaching ten percent. If you live in a European or European derived country it may seem that white people are all-powerful and that “whiteness” is something to be destroyed. I think that is a bad way to think for anyone, and especially white people.

Most whites come from peasant stock and if you have Eastern European ancestry, you come from serf stock which is the same as slavery. Serfs were partially freed in Russia in 1861 but it took many decades for full freedom to arrive (only to be destroyed again by Bolsheviks).

In this context, I have been and will continue to post stuff on American nationalism, civic nationalism, economic nationalism, white identity and so forth. We live in a tribal world. If you put down your own tribe and help other tribes destroy it, you are not a good person. You are a fool.

Politics is always changing. In the din of many tribes vying for power, you can’t be holier-than-thou and leave your tribe voiceless. I support a strong, clear white voice similar to the Chinese, Japanese, or Zionist voice. Similar to voices all over the world.

Ultimately, I suppose, the world will be one. Maybe genetic research will give us so many choices for gene splicing, race and ethnicity will no longer matter. But until then it does.

Using truthful statements to lie

A recent paper explored the effects of using truthful statements to deceive others.

The authors of the paper call this behavior paltering and define it as “the active use of truthful statements to convey a misleading impression.”

The paper, Artful Paltering: The Risks and Rewards of Using Truthful Statements to Mislead Others, says:

…we identify paltering as a distinct form of deception. Paltering differs from lying by omission (the passive omission of relevant information) and lying by commission (the active use of false statements). Our findings reveal that paltering is common in negotiations and that many negotiators prefer to palter than to lie by commission.

The paper tests the effects of paltering during business negotiations, but paltering can happen in many other contexts. Examples of paltering by public figures can be found in the news every day.

The concept of paltering is also interesting psychologically. I am going to speculate that individuals often palter to themselves concerning their own internalized autobiographies and reasons for doing many actions.

If we use our inner voices to palter to ourselves—that is use the best “truthful” description of our actions that also just happens to place those actions in their best light—then we are not living with full integrity even in the privacy of our own thoughts.

At the same time, we have to be careful about how we assess our own paltering. We might be right to use the best version of events because that really is the correct version.

The problem is there is no good standard for an individual alone to decide what is objectively right or wrong.

For example, if someone smokes pot in a state where it is illegal are they paltering by telling themselves the law is stupid so why follow  it?

FIML partners will want to avoid paltering at all times but especially in the midst of a FIML query. Properly done, FIML can help with internalized paltering because this sort of subject matter lends itself well to FIML discussions.

As with all moral questions, where we draw the line is not always easy. The more tools we have the better. Awareness of paltering and its effects on others is good tool to have.

Life lives on meaning

Biosemiotics is the study of signs and their interpretations by living organisms.

The interpretation of a sign is generally synonymous with its “meaning” for the entity that interprets it.

From Wikipedia:

Biosemiotics (from the Greek bios meaning “life” and semeion meaning “sign”) is a growing field of semiotics and biology that studies the production and interpretation of signs and codes in the biological realm. Biosemiotics attempts to integrate the findings of biology and semiotics and proposes a paradigmatic shift in the scientific view of life, demonstrating that semiosis (sign process, including meaning and interpretation) is one of its immanent and intrinsic feature. (Source)

Here is a short video on the subject: A Biosemiotic Perspective.

The importance of meaning (sign interpretation) in human life is so great, many humans will die, or want to, if they lose an overall sense of it.

Just because we crave meaning does not mean we have to have good meaning, valid meaning, right meaning. Almost all cultures almost all of the time are filled with bogus meaning. They thrive on it.

If you find something in a culture, you will find it in individuals. Almost all human psychology almost all the time is rife with bogus meaning.

Some of that comes from culture, some is the interpretation of the individual, all of it is mixed together.

This is why memes are so powerful. They are meaning-signs that for many different reasons are interpreted as being true. A meme can be picture or a few words. An example is “Diversity is Strength.”

That meme is probably not scientifically valid. There are many studies that show it is false.

Whatever the case, “Diversity is Strength” (or one of its derivatives “stronger together”) has become a significant public meaning, whose main interpretation is rarely questioned.

There are scores of memes (cultural signs or signals) circulating within American culture at all times.

Some cultural signs and signals are “organic” in the sense that they have grassroots origins, springing from the “ground” of culture itself.

Others are formed and manipulated by powerful forces who want to influence culture or change it. “Diversity is Strength” is an example of this.

America’s elite subculture has been pushing this meme for many years. The following video contains many examples of this meme being used by public figures as well as a refutation of it: Diversity DESTROYS Social Cohesion in the West.

Most people do not analyze signs, symbols, memes, or semiotics. They do not ask for the source of a cultural sign, its uses, or even if it is true.

Once a cultural sign is established, it will tend to remain unquestioned until some other force (money, media) or meme replaces it.

The best thing for individuals to do is replace crappy, manipulative memes with your own analysis and understanding. Replace them with Right Meaning, in the Buddhist sense.

The Buddha is often described as mainly “an analyst” who gave us many ways to free ourselves from delusion.