Decentralization: The Psychic/Psychological Revolution

Who are the children of tomorrow? Who shall carry the baton of the future kite runners? Certainly not the all-encompassing, top-of-the-heap occupiers known only as the Elite.

Who are the new “They”?

No longer can the planet sustain this top-heavy critical mass leaning tower of power. Despite the insistence of the old oligarchic royal gentlemen’s club that power can be trademarked, patented, and copyrighted, free access tears down that Berlin Wall with bloody fingernails tapping upon backlit keys. Keylogging and not registration determines a new more diverse and dispersed absence of power.

1337 marks the beast. . .

Virtual Nebulae 0001*Image Credit (work used with permission through CC license)–
“Virtual Nebulae 0001” by Andrew Ostrovsky
“Sky city” by Luca G.

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Religion and Science

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~Albert Einstein

Everything that the human race has done and thought is concerned with the satisfaction of felt needs and the assuagement of pain. One has to keep this constantly in mind if one wishes to understand spiritual movements and their development. Feeling and desire are the motive forces behind all human endeavour and human creation, in however exalted a guise the latter may present itself to us. Now what are the feelings and needs that have led men to religious thought and belief in the widest sense of the words? A little consideration will suffice to show us that the most varying emotions preside over the birth of religious thought and experience. With primitive man it is above all fear that evokes religious notions—fear of hunger, wild beasts, sickness, death. Since at this stage of existence understanding of causal connexions is usually poorly developed, the human mind creates for itself more or less analogous beings on whose wills and actions these fearful happenings depend. One’s object now is to secure the favour of these beings by carrying out actions and offering sacrifices which, according to the tradition handed down from generation to generation, propitiate them or make them well disposed towards a mortal.

I am speaking now of the religion of fear. This, though not created, is in an important degree stabilized by the formation of a special priestly caste which sets up as a mediator between the people and the beings they fear, and erects a hegemony on this basis. In many cases the leader or ruler whose position depends on other factors, or a privileged class, combines priestly functions with its secular authority in order to make the latter more secure; or the political rulers and the priestly caste make common cause in their own interests.

The social feelings are another source of the crystallization of religion. Fathers and mothers and the leaders of larger human communities are mortal and fallible. The desire for guidance, love, and support prompts men to form the social or moral conception of God. This is the God of Providence who protects, disposes, rewards, and punishes, the God who, according to the width of the believer’s outlook, loves and cherishes the life of the tribe or of the human race, or even life as such, the comforter in sorrow and unsatisfied longing, who preserves the souls of the dead. This is the social or moral conception of God.

The Jewish scriptures admirably illustrate the development from the religion of fear to moral religion, which is continued in the New Testament. The religions of all civilized peoples, especially the peoples of the Orient, are primarily moral religions. The development from a religion of fear to moral religion is a great step in a nation’s life. That primitive religions are based entirely on fear and the religions of civilized peoples purely on morality is a prejudice against which we must be on our guard. The truth is that they are all intermediate types, with this reservation, that on the higher levels of social life the religion of morality predominates.

Common to all these types is the anthropomorphic character of their conception of God. Only individuals of exceptional endowments and exceptionally high-minded communities, as a general rule, get in any real sense beyond this level. But there is a third state of religious experience which belongs to all of them, even though it is rarely found in a pure form, and which I will call cosmic religious feeling. It is very difficult to explain this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it.

The individual feels the nothingness of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvellous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. He looks upon individual existence as a sort of prison and wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole. The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear in earlier stages of development—e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learnt from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer especially, contains a much stronger element of it.

The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man’s image; so that there can be no Church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with the highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as Atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.

How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are capable of it. We thus arrive at a conception of the relation of science to religion very different from the usual one. When one views the matter historically one is inclined to look upon science and religion as irreconcilable antagonists, and for a very obvious reason. The man who is thoroughly convinced of the universal operation of the law of causation cannot for a moment entertain the idea of a being who interferes in the course of events—that is, if he takes the hypothesis of causality really seriously. He has no use for the religion of fear and equally little for social or moral religion. A God who rewards and punishes is inconceivable to him for the simple reason that a man’s actions are determined by necessity, external and internal, so that in God’s eyes he cannot be responsible, any more than an inanimate object is responsible for the motions it goes through. Hence science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear and punishment and hope of reward after death.

It is therefore easy to see why the Churches have always fought science and persecuted its devotees. On the other hand, I maintain that cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest incitement to scientific research. Only those who realize the immense efforts and, above all, the devotion which pioneer work in theoretical science demands, can grasp the strength of the emotion out of which alone such work, remote as it is from the immediate realities of life, can issue. What a deep conviction of the rationality of the universe and what a yearning to understand, were it but a feeble reflection of the mind revealed in this world, Kepler and Newton must have had to enable them to spend years of solitary labour in disentangling the principles of celestial mechanics!

Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived chiefly from its practical results easily develop a completely false notion of the mentality of the men who, surrounded by a sceptical world, have shown the way to those like-minded with themselves, scattered through the earth and the centuries. Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends can have a vivid realization of what has inspired these men and given them the strength to remain true to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religious feeling that gives a man strength of this sort. A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.

You will hardly and one among the profounder sort of scientific minds without a peculiar religious feeling of his own. But it is different from the religion of the naive man. For the latter God is a being from whose care one hopes to benefit and whose punishment one fears; a sublimation of a feeling similar to that of a child for its father, a being to whom one stands to some extent in a personal relation, however deeply it may be tinged with awe.

But the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation. The future, to him, is every whit as necessary and determined as the past. There is nothing divine about morality, it is a purely human affair. His religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection. This feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work, in so far as he succeeds in keeping himself from the shackles of selfish desire. It is beyond question closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all ages.

By Albert Einstein, The World as I See It, Secaucus, New Jersy: The Citadel Press, 1999, pp. 24-29.

What is Schizophrenia?

EXPLORINGtheLATERAL

What is Schizophrenia?  

“A good question, with no simple, short, or straightforward answer, since each sufferer is unique and schizophrenia is a complex phenomenon. In general, schizophrenia is an extremely introverted, psychospiritual mode of perception, or way of relating to the world; or state of consciousness involving (what I have called) ‘extreme empathy’. This simultaneous blessing and curse is due to a fragile, fragmented, dead, or lost ego, or conscious personality structure. The normal, ego-enforced boundaries between the self and the world have broken down, such that schizophrenia sufferers – for better and worse – find themselves identifying with everything within their scope of perception. It is because of this ego loss, or ‘dis-integration’ that psychosis, shamanic initiation and mystical experience are so inextricably bound. The schizophrenic person may appear to family, friends and doctors to be lacking in emotion, but in reality is in a state of intense…

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To Understand Is To Perceive Patterns

INSPIRATION:

Albert-László Barabási, author of LINKED, wants you to think about NETWORKS:

“Networks are everywhere. The brain is a network of nerve cells connected by axons, and cells themselves are networks of molecules connected by biochemical reactions. Societies, too, are networks of people linked by friendships, familial relationships and professional ties. On a larger scale, food webs and ecosystems can be represented as networks of species. And networks pervade technology: the Internet, power grids and transportation systems are but a few examples. Even the language we are using to convey these thoughts to you is a network, made up of words connected by syntactic relationships.”

‘For decades, we assumed that the components of such complex systems as the cell, the society, or the Internet are randomly wired together. In the past decade, an avalanche of research has shown that many real networks, independent of their age, function, and scope, converge to similar architectures, a universality that allowed researchers from different disciplines to embrace network theory as a common paradigm.’

Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From, writes about recurring patterns and liquid networks:

“Coral reefs are sometimes called “the cities of the sea”, and part of the argument is that we need to take the metaphor seriously: the reef ecosystem is so innovative because it shares some defining characteristics with actual cities. These patterns of innovation and creativity are fractal: they reappear in recognizable form as you zoom in and out, from molecule to neuron to pixel to sidewalk. Whether you’re looking at original innovations of carbon-based life, or the explosion of news tools on the web, the same shapes keep turning up… when life gets creative, it has a tendency to gravitate toward certain recurring patterns, whether those patterns are self-organizing, or whether they are deliberately crafted by human agents”

Patrick Pittman from Dumbo Feather adds:

“Put simply: cities are like ant colonies are like software is like slime molds are like evolution is like disease is like sewage systems are like poetry is like the neural pathways in our brain. Everything is connected.

“…Johnson uses ‘The Long Zoom’ to define the way he looks at the world—if you concentrate on any one level, there are patterns that you miss. When you step back and simultaneously consider, say, the sentience of a slime mold, the cultural life of downtown Manhattan and the behavior of artificially intelligent computer code, new patterns emerge.”

James Gleick, author of THE INFORMATION, has written how the cells of an organism are nodes in a richly interwoven communications network, transmitting and receiving, coding and decoding and how Evolution itself embodies an ongoing exchange of information between organism and environment.. (Its an ECO-SYSTEM, an EVOLVING NETWORK)

“If you want to understand life,” Wrote Richard Dawkins, “don’t think about vibrant, throbbing gels and oozes, think about information technology.” (AND THINK ABOUT NETWORKS!!

Geoffrey West, from The Santa Fe Institute, also believes in the pivotal role of NETWORKS:

“…Network systems can sustain life at all scales, whether intracellularly or within you and me or in ecosystems or within a city…. If you have a million citizens in a city or if you have 1014 cells in your body, they have to be networked together in some optimal way for that system to function, to adapt, to grow, to mitigate, and to be long term resilient.”

Author Paul Stammetts writes about The Mycelial Archetype: He compares the mushroom mycelium with the overlapping information-sharing systems that comprise the Internet, with the networked neurons in the brain, and with a computer model of dark matter in the universe. All share this densely intertwingled filamental structure.

An article in Reality Sandwich called Google a psychedelically informed superpowered network, a manifestation of the mycelial archetype:

“Recognizing this super-connectivity and conductivity is often accompanied by blissful mindbody states and the cognitive ecstasy of multiple “aha’s!” when the patterns in the mycelium are revealed. That Googling that has become a prime noetic technology (How can we recognize a pattern and connect more and more, faster and faster?: superconnectivity and superconductivity) mirrors the increased speed of connection of thought-forms from cannabis highs on up. The whole process is driven by desire not only for these blissful states in and of themselves, but also as the cognitive resource they represent.The devices of desire are those that connect,” because as Johnson says “CHANCE FAVORS THE CONNECTED MIND”.

*Source

Cosmic Consciousness

You are literally made of stardust and whatever becomes of you the particles from which you are made have been around since the dawn of time and will continue to live forever. ~Danny Scheinmann, Random Acts of Heroic Love

In other words, we are all a continuation of the big bang (if there was such a thing, but rather than looking at this as an actual event, let’s look at it as if it were the adjective about a particular event). Much the same as humans are conceived, and as thoughts are conceived, and as atoms collide, and as the earth peoples (like the apple tree apples–an idea borrowed from Alan Watts, but that is apropos I think), humans are.

TardezitaYes, no one can truly see the world the same way as another. Truly cannot see because each human has experienced his or her life, uniquely, through a unique set of happenstances and occurences and accidents and guidances etc; it is this uniqueness that establishes the subtle distinctions that can make each one of us a guru. In this way, all humans inherently possesses an infinity of probable potentialities. Each probability disappears or appears according to the conscious and willful choices made as human beings. These constitute the lovely differences between humans, which make it possible for humans to relate to one another on differing levels. When we find ourselves among greatness (whether that is a work of art, music composed, ballet, basketball game, graphic design, architecture, voice, etc.) we subjectively feel the meaning conveyed and we perceive that greatness wrapped up in a little piece of ourselves. . . so, in some ways we still experience it differently rather than the same. What we can all agree on is that as far as we know there does exist an external dimension, separate from us, yet somehow connected, called external reality (the amalgamation of all realizations, the collective mind). These are the genes of our sameness.

Fossil Sitting In Sun LightI, too, perceive in such a nondualistic manner. As the Winter leaves its cold tendrils in the early days of Spring, and as does one galaxy merges (not collides) with the other, passing through one another and leaving bits of each other within the makeup of the other, as is the nonduality in things. It can be difficult to distinguish one from the other, but only at certain levels of magnification. At one level, the distinction cannot be perceived, as a single point from which to begin or end cannot be perceived. Where do I end and Life begin?

The space around us is full of a living essence, which we are just beginning to understand. This essence is like a conduit that is affected by our thoughts. Like oscillations of a bowed string, the notes we play do matter. ~Shawn Hocking

It’s easy to travel down the nihilist path; I find myself doing this on occasion myself. Although, I don’t think of basing the why of things on their function constitutes nihilism. I think it’s a very realistic (no pun intended) way of perceiving the world about us. Nihilism only comes into play because this way does not include the existence of a god (as an anthropomorphic entity). Also, nihilism does not necessarily mean ending as in destruction. Even Nietzsche, the so-called father of nihilism, did not think this way, evident by his philosophy of the Superman. Nietzche was an evolutionist! He wanted a better kind of Man, as he was extremely displeased with the present lot.

Shawn Hocking ArtworkAnd so, that brings us to Love. Love, to me, is not an emotion, it is a way of being, a way of living in the world. Not so much with love, as *being* love’ in this way with every action, with every motion and with every will and want of your being embodies love, which is the natural tendency in humans. Love is a form of consciousness/conscience, and without them love cannot be experienced. And no, love is not only a human trait. The iconization and commodification of love is a human trait, yes. It is obvious that animals and other organisms love. Observe the cow, the lion, the cat, the dog, the deer, the elephant, the dolphin, the whale, the penguin, as well as the flower, the rock, the sea, and the desert.

Are we not all the embodiment of Life and Love, a cosmic consciousness?

[Cosmic Consciousness]*Image Credits (artwork used with permission through CC license and with express permission from Shawn Hocking)–
“Yin Yang Sky Earth — Illustration” by DonkeyHotey
“Fossil Sitting In Sun Light” by A Guy Taking Pictures
“Tardezita” by Eduardo Amorim
[Cosmic Consciousness] by Shawn Hocking
[Untitled] by Shawn Hocking

QOTD Phillip K. Dick

Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups…increasingly, we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated electronic mechanisms…And this is an astounding power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing. ~Phillip K. Dick

Perfect Future (version 2)*Image Credits (all artwork used with permission through CC license)–
“Liberation of Consciousness” by H. Koppdelaney
“Perfect Future (version 2) by Alain Godineau

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