Happy Easter to All

mind only, logos, God, moral imperative, logical imperative, God’s will, karma, shila, prajna, Tathagata, conscience (not mine but logos itself), logic, reason, truth, reality, sacred, enlightened, ultimate reality, dhyana, samadhi, satori, science, mathematics

what these words have in common is they all mean the same thing

is there moral imperative? yes, see above

Happy Easter to All

Don’t be intimidated by the left; learn to answer back

480 words

A deep basis of thought is imagined or rehearsed speech. If we cannot imagine a good response to a verbal attack, we will tend to be intimidated by it and shrink from of it even as we sense it is false. We might even concede to demands based on intimidation alone because with no answer, we are unable to think clearly about what is happening. We surrender without a fight.

A strong example of this might be a leftist accuses you of racism and on that basis demands a concession from you. How do you respond? If you deny you are racist, a person like that will claim your denial is proof of racism.

Since racial identity is completely normal, even appearing in babies who cleave toward people who look like their parents, every human being has some level of racial awareness. You can drill that out of people, or turn it around, but the root instinct is always going to be there. Even the left admits this.

Continue reading “Don’t be intimidated by the left; learn to answer back”

I respect his honesty but not his logic

Convicted spy [Jonathan Pollard] laments US Jews see themselves as more American than Jewish, suggests he’d counsel Jew working in American security apparatus to spy for Israel even now

Pollard claims Jews ‘will always have dual loyalty,’ whether they know it or not

What Pollard expresses are normal sensibilities for people with strong lineage ties. But most of us do not have strong lineage ties. Instead, we have the weaker ties of tradition, law, right vs wrong, abstract ideals, freedom, the American Constitution. Jews are not the only people with strong lineage ties. Today we are seeing USA break into segments of those who have strong ties and those who don’t; those who want to strengthen their own ties and weaken others’. I hate the terms “proposition nation” or “the American experiment” when applied to USA. But I have to admit that it does look more like an experiment today than a real nation. When the breakup happens it will be strong lineages against weak ones, weak ideals against strong ones in those orders matched respectively.

The role of the “truth teller” in a narcissistic family

I was unfamiliar with the idea of the scapegoat also being a “truth teller” in a narcissistic family. The truth teller might also be called a witness; it’s the child that knows something is not right and thus threatens the vulnerable narcissist. Many if not most traditional cultures have very large narcissistic components. Their moral strictures, religions, duties, values, manners, etc. almost all contain elements of narcissism. So there is an important historical dimension to this diagnosis.

Aspects of Buddhism as it is traditionally practiced even today can also be seen as being narcissistic or fostering narcissism. Same for all the Abrahamic religions, Confucianism, Aztec beliefs and so on across the globe. Just as consciousness is fundamental to our human reality so are the many ways of interpreting it, almost all of which historically have tended toward narcissistic systems.

Truth tellers typically are most likely to escape the web of the narcissistic family even though their role in it was to be the most despised, the scapegoat. Sometimes I see the Buddha as a truth teller who freed himself from his father’s make-believe world despite the power and luxury it offered. He was more a golden child I suppose than a scapegoat. In this vein, Jesus can be seen as an outcast black sheep who was tortured and grossly humiliated. Both embody the hardship of earning freedom from delusion.

Milo Yiannopoulos consecrates his life to St. Joseph

‘Secular attempts at recovery from sin are either temporary or completely ineffective. Salvation can only be achieved through devotion to Christ and the works of the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.’

Activist Milo Yiannopoulos is now ‘Ex-Gay,’ consecrating his life to St. Joseph

Posted under “religion.” Milo should do FIML with his partner; much more satisfying and produces wonderfully unexpected results. As a side note, I highly respect religious intensity, austerity, commitment, reverence, dedication, training, abstention from wrong-doing. We humans are free and often make terrible choices. We all need guidance and training. And we all need to work hard at it. It is never easy to control the mind or clearly observe the mind, but we do get better at it once we start trying.

LSD alters dynamic integration and segregation in the human brain

…Our main finding is that the effects of LSD on brain function and subjective experience are non-uniform in time: LSD makes globally segregated sub-states of dynamic functional connectivity more complex, and weakens the relationship between functional and anatomical connectivity. On a regional level, LSD reduces functional connectivity of the anterior medial prefrontal cortex, specifically during states of high segregation. Time-specific effects were correlated with different aspects of subjective experiences; in particular, ego dissolution was predicted by increased small-world organisation during a state of high global integration. These results reveal a more nuanced, temporally-specific picture of altered brain connectivity and complexity under psychedelics than has previously been reported.

LSD alters dynamic integration and segregation in the human brain

A good article explaining the study can be found here: Neuroscience study indicates that LSD “frees” brain activity from anatomical constraints.

“Studying psychoactive substances offers a unique opportunity for neuroscience: we can study their effects in terms of brain chemistry, but also at the level of brain function and subjective experience,” he added. “In particular, the mind is never static, and neither is the brain: we are increasingly discovering that when it comes to brain function and its evolution over time, the journey matters just as much as the destination.”

A moral argument against veganism

This post argues against veganism and in favor of the consumption of meat and dairy products.

The moral argument for eating meat and dairy products is simple. If we eat them, we contribute to the economy that gives these animals life. Since their lives have value to them, it is better for them to exist than to not exist. And also, if their lives have no value to humans (for food or other uses), then these animals will cease to be so numerous and will probably become extinct.

The moral argument for veganism is generally based on not killing. But if we don’t slaughter cattle for food, soon there will be no cattle. Veganism, to put it strongly, is arguing in favor of cattle genocide.

The vegan argument is based on the belief that the animals’ lives have value to the animals. If the animals themselves did not want to live, the vegan argument would not be strong. But if we accept that the animals’ lives have value to them, then raising them for meat or other uses benefits the animals as well as humans.

The strongest argument for meat eating asks that the animals be treated humanely while alive and slaughtered humanely when the time comes. But even if the treatment and slaughtering of these animals is not perfect, it can still be reasonably argued that it is better for them to have existed than to not have existed.

An argument for limited humaneness—that is, “just humane enough to make their lives worth living to them”—does not appeal to me but is probably sound, though clearly it is morally weaker than an argument for greater humaneness.

An objection to this overall argument might be that it is somehow wrong to raise a sentient being knowing that you intend to kill it. But when we take a pet into our home, we all know that the chances are we will kill it when it becomes too infirm to continue. Many people, myself included, argue in favor of euthanasia and even suicide for people who have reasonably concluded that their lives are no longer worth living.

When and if we have widely available lab-produced fake meat that involves no killing, would it still be morally right to raise animals for slaughter? My answer is yes and for the same reasons—those animals are being given a chance to exist and it is better for them, from their point of view, to exist than to not exist.

To some extent, the above arguments appear to support the Buddhist Theravada position that lay Buddhists can eat meat. And that monastics can also eat meat if the animal was not killed for them, if they did not see the animal being killed, and if they did not kill the animal themselves.

The Buddha ate meat and made these rules for monastics and himself. Mahayana Buddhism developed a vegetarian tradition because mendicancy was not feasible in China and other northern areas. Indeed, Mahayana Buddhists who consume dairy products and/or eggs are actually participating in industries that slaughter animals, for dairy cows and chickens are slaughtered as soon as they cease to be productive.

Based on the argument presented in this post, Mahayana Buddhists are right to consume dairy and eggs and wrong to eschew meat if there are not other factors (health, personal  taste, environment) being considered.

I have not covered environmental factors in this post because they bring in many other considerations that distract from the basic moral argument.

As for fish, it seems to me as of this morning that eating “wild caught” fish is not morally well-supported because our eating them does not support their existing. Wild fish would be better off without us eating them. Farm raised fish and hatchery fish, of course, would be better off existing before being slaughtered in the same way that beef cattle are.

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first posted OCTOBER 1, 2015

The secret of the elites

“The secret of the elites is that they’re not all that smart so they need the deck stacked to continue the illusion that they are elite at all.”

– Rob Peffer

He’s absolutely right. That’s why the fake elite devotes 100 percent of their collective effort to trying to maintain the illusion and keep the deck stacked. It’s also why nationalism and populism terrify them. They know their power and influence could be broken literally overnight by a sufficiently angry populace.

This is no longer about ideology. All the idearrhea about “liberal” and “conservative” and “communism” and “objectivism” is a veil to obscure the realities of the stacked deck. It’s about lawless rule by a small, mostly foreign and self-appointed fake elite. They all have imposter syndrome because they are all imposters.

link to original

This is true. And also elites must have a hierarchy within themselves and must have ways of controlling their own. Power, money, sex are obvious carrots. Slavery, murder, Satanism are less obvious parts of the system. The Satanism does not have to be sincere or it could be. Doesn’t matter; its purpose lies in being a/the hierarchical system that has come to be.

A top elite might argue:

It has ever been thus. We are in control and the people closest to us whom we control lust after power, wealth and the free exercise of their passions. We control them by controlling their passions and desires. Human beings are weak and sinful and those who seek power are almost all corrupted beyond salvation in this life. So we use them.

You cannot change any of this. Destroy us and a similar hierarchy will replace us. Human societies will always be run by the most ruthless, the most lustful, the most daring and immoral.

How can we not seek to control the world? Why would we stop at the borders of any nation? No, power flows naturally to seize everything it can. Nothing can stop this. If you like, you can say it’s God’s Will or Satan’s. It doesn’t matter what you call it or precisely how you control it. It has ever been thus.

The Theravada Buddhist take on this is we can only find ultimate freedom on our own. The Mahayana Buddhist take is the same but also includes proactive moral actions in this world.

UPDATE: My own synthesis of all of the above is both kinds of Buddhism plus it’s better to have a well defined polity that votes in its own interest (typically a nation state with borders). And it’s better to have media that reports honestly. And that those who “Do their best to speak the truth” not be silenced. All of this requires laws based on a constitution and fair courts.

Working to achieve or preserve a viable American system more or less in line with our traditional form of governance is a proactive moral act fit for Buddhists as well as other rational and spiritual systems of understanding human life.

So my answer to the top elite who I imagine above is: “Yes, but you can do better and we other people can and will do out best to make that happen.” I might add that in Buddhism there is the important concept of the powerful Bodhisattva who may appear cruel yet by their actions prompts others to seek release from the confines of this largely ignorant realm.

Conversation with Robert Bigelow on UFOs and the afterlife

Las Vegas space entrepreneur Robert Bigelow announced the creation of a new project, the Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies, which hopes to stimulate new research into the survival of human consciousness beyond death.

In an exclusive on camera interview, Bigelow shared with us the personal experiences–and losses—that prompted his interest in life after death, as well as UFOs.

link to original

The interview is broken into several short segments. Well-worth viewing.

The worst thing about the humanities

The worst thing about the humanities is so many of our insights and discoveries are used to harm people, manipulate them, propagandize them.

Another bad thing is the open, confessional, and exploratory styles of artists too often are used against them by gaslighters, scammers, back-biters.

If we cannot even allow artists and social scientists to speak openly, all of us suffer from the reduced culture that results.

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first posted on AUGUST 22, 2017

Consciousness as reality itself

In Buddhism the idea that consciousness is reality and reality is conscious is called “mind only” or Yogachara.

David Ray Griffin, a process theologian, has come to similar conclusions—that reality is fundamentally conscious.

As has Donald D. Hoffman, a professor of cognitive science at UC Irvine.

Hoffman came at this subject from a mathematical angle, but arrived at a similar conclusion to Yogachara Buddhism. Hoffman says:

As a conscious realist, I am postulating conscious experiences as ontological primitives, the most basic ingredients of the world. I’m claiming that experiences are the real coin of the realm. (The Case Against Reality)

I tend to reach similar conclusions when I think about everything in terms of signals.

The advantage of thinking in terms of signals is we get a good picture of “reality” without needing to say what is real beyond the signal itself.

This kind of thinking is helpful for metaphysics but it is also extremely practical when it comes to human psychology.

Rather than posit personality types and what goes wrong or right with them, we analyze how people send and receive signals instead.

In thinking along these lines, I have come to the conclusion that most psychology as most people understand it uses “arms-length” language, the language of meso and macro signals rather than the much more precise language of the micro signals that actually comprise our shared “realities.”

The difference can be illustrated in this way: Rather than explain your most recent signal (sent or received) in terms of personality, explain it by accessing the micro-signals of short-term memory to find its true antecedents.

If you do this again and again by using a game such as FIML, you will probably come to conclusions similar to the above—that there is no deeper substance to psychological reality than your consciousness of it.  

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first posted 08/05/17