Mod+ 266. RICK ARCHER, CAN CONSCIOUSNESS CHANGE CULTURE?

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by AlexT, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. AlexT

    AlexT Administrator

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    THE INTERNET IS DOING SOMETHING NO ONE EXPECTED INCREASING SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT

    266. You might meet your guru online.
    [​IMG]

    POSTED ON FEB 10 IN SPIRITUALITY |

    After 20 years as a meditation teacher Rick Archer turned to podcasting to bring 100s spiritual teachers to the public.

    Join Alex Tsakiris of Skeptiko for an interview with Rick Archer host of Buddha at the Gas Pump (BATGAP.com) about the enlightenment movement and how it’s changing our scientific culture.

    Click here to listen on youtube
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  2. Saiko

    Saiko Member

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    <sigh> This is getting tough for me. Since everything in the physical is primary consciousness in expression questions of "can consciousness . . .?? " just seem silly to me.
     
  3. Bucky

    Bucky Member

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    I like Rick's work, although I have probably seen less than 20% of his interviews... so many!
    This is the 2nd interview with Rick right? Or maybe even the third because Ric interviewed @AlexT on Batgap.

    Will listen tomorrow, thanks!
     
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  4. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Alex's question at the end of the podcast:

    What do you think it would take for our culture to experience a shift in consciousness and become more "enlightened"?
     
  5. JKMac

    JKMac New

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    I am a HUGE fan of Batgap. Just like with Skeptico, I eagerly await every new episode.

    That said- I didn't see much of note to come out of this interview. I think it may be that although Alex suggested that Rick's approach is to look at spiritual things through a scientific lens (my words), I disagree. After listening to maybe 100 Batgap interviews I find Rick brings a certain sensibility but definitely not a particularly scientific bent. Really I see him as being the moderator of an ongoing spiritual discussion and his perspective is typically as a very well versed spiritual conversationalist.

    I sort of felt that Rick and Alex were talking on different frequencies. One not really getting to the core of what the other was saying.

    Just my sense of things.
     
  6. Enlightenment won't come from your head thinking about it. It will come from your backside - sitting down and meditating.

    Butt first, you have to decide what enlightenment means. There are 21 definitions of enlightenment here: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB Models of the Stages of Enlightenment

    UPDATE: if the above link is dead, try here: https://web.archive.org/web/2015032...in/MCTB+Models+of+the+Stages+of+Enlightenment

    (Hint: If they're not smiling they're doing it wrong.)

    You have to define enlightenment and explain what "more enlightened" means before you can say if our culture becoming more enlightened is a good thing and if one should try to bring that about. Some (most?) people are here to experience being unenlightened. Would hindering that experience be the right thing to do? Some people are here to be enlightened. But it is not something that should be forced on everyone.

    Our culture does not exist in a vacuum. One must also consider:
    Would our culture survive on this hostile planet if we became more enlightened?

    Joe McMoneagle:
    http://www.mceagle.com/remote-viewing/pub/transcripts/jr970601jm-2of5.html

    "Personally [pause] I have done a lot of things as a soldier that I probably wouldn't do again. I think every human being has a right to change, however. My conviction is, the conviction to which I'm wedded at the moment, is that every human being has as much right to life as any other. I was once a great supporter of the death penalty for certain crimes. However, in my experience I've now changed that position. I think that no human being has the right to take the life of another human being. No matter what the crime is that they might have committed. You do have the right to control them, to put them in prison or to punish them, but we do not have the right to take their life.
    ...
    One of the things I've learned, because I've pretty much internalized my spirituality, and have pursued this philosophically, and one of the conclusions that I've come to... um, let's see, the best way to present this would be: I've never clearly understood in my own lifetime how anyone could voluntarily walk to their own death. And certainly the holocaust brings us an example of that. I could never understand why someone would allow someone that was evil incarnate, a Hitler for instance, to put them to death without at least fighting back. I've since, I've come to the conclusion that however, evil incarnate is not best fought by participation. It's fought by a participation or involvement, a total involvement, in the good, or the positive. And the only real response to evil incarnate is to ignore it, in the display of a positive or righteous attitude. So since death, physical death is not an end unto itself,
    the most appropriate response is to essentially turn the other cheek, or to walk to death with a smile on your face, and I never understood that before, but I think I finally have come to grasp with that, and have a tremendous respect for the numbers of people that chose to honor the positive and the constructive and in doing so give their lives."
    I accept this point of view as more "enlightened". But I don't think it bodes well for the survival of "enlightened" cultures. Maybe "true" enlightenment means you help others on the path and don't just seek it for yourself.

    The people I admire most are those who make the world a better place by helping others. School teachers, doctors, nurses, charitable workers, construction workers, trash collectors, landscapers, artists, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends. Whether they have had any deep insight into the nature of consciousness or reality is irrelevant to me. Meditation teachers belong on that list too, but that work is no "better" or "higher" than anything else on the list. There have been many people throughout history who have done immense good for humanity who have not had any deep insight into the nature of consciousness or reality. I don't admire someone simply because of an insight they attained sitting on their backside meditating because you can get all the insight you want during eternity in the afterlife. Our time in the earth life is limited, its purpose is mostly to allow a spiritual being to have a physical experience.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
  7. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    What do you think it would take for our culture to experience a shift in consciousness and become more "enlightened"?

    I don't know, Alex.

    Having said that, society has changed over the centuries, and the pace of that change is increasing. I have this irresistible (and perhaps quite wrong) suspicion that the pace can't increase much more before something radical happens. It might just as well be bad as good: I mean, look at the bad: Islamic fundamentalism, eco-lunacy, global financial instability, the perversion of science in so many areas... in so many ways, we are living in "interesting" times.

    Maybe that's the price to be paid for change for the better in the longer run. Looked at with the benefit of hindsight, one can see that out of great evil, eventually, a greater good emerges. Good and evil intertwine, like a caduceus: each seems to function as the driver of the other, but on balance, as a species we seem to evolve rather than devolve.

    Each positive development seems to automatically bring about the emergence of a negative one, and vice versa. On the whole, science is a good thing, but when it generates questions about the nature of reality, it creates a backlash, a digging in of heels. We may be in the midst of the death throes of science as we know it, and its re-emergence as something different. These throes are unpleasant and are drawing out strong reactions, but that is inevitable, and the Internet is making it very hard for the issues to be swept under the carpet, as might have happened in an earlier age.

    It's a mirror of personal life and evolution... as above, so below. How many of us can claim never to have had any angst in our lives? That we have never had experiences that at the time seemed awful, but eventually, we had cause to be thankful for? Sometimes, perhaps always, we need difficulties in life to progress, and likewise, societies also need their difficulties/conflicts, which may actually be the sign of the caduceus making another turn in its inevitable up-spiralling.

    Are things going to keep on being as bad as they seem to be? Rick Archer suspects not: thinks that we are living in a period when great change is afoot, and that sometime soon, a critical mass will be reached... the apocryphal hundredth monkey idea. Maybe he's right, and I certainly hope so, but then I recall that he's bought into the whole global warming deal, which I see as one of the things holding back progress. To me, he may have the right idea, but could be envisioning solutions that at the political level are counterproductive. He may possess a degree of advancement at the personal spiritual level, but be being held back at the societal level if I'm right in my strong suspicion that global warming isn't nearly as threatening as he believes, and that collectively, the political elites, aided by the well-meaning masses, are currently undergoing a collectively psychotic episode.

    There's a great deal to be sorted out at all levels before we as a species can make a transition to a higher state of being. It's incredibly complicated, and it's hard to see it how it might evolve; Buckminster Fuller had it right, I think, when he opined that events generally turn out to be at right angles to expectation--in a direction and of a quality that no one would ever have expected. After the fact, it might all seem so obvious, but whilst we are living through it, it's beyond our capacity to fathom what's actually happening. Proudly, we march into the future with our blindfolds on, and it's a miracle that we make any progress at all. Luckily, the universe is so structured that progress can and must be made, even though we don't understand the intricacies of its operation; whatever we do, in the end, we will evolve--be dragged kicking and screaming into some new and unsuspected future where a higher-level equilibrium will be reached.

    It could be some scientific discovery that proves seminal, or maybe even the acceptance of the implications of discoveries that have already been made: I'm not ruling out that faint possibility. It could be that some irrefutable event will occur that will be so far-reaching that there would be a sudden transition. But on balance, I suspect that we will carry on as usual until one day, we wake up in a new era, the origins of which it will be left to future historians to analyse and explain.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
  8. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

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    It's the third just on Skeptiko: 206, 234, 266.
     
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  9. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Listening to this podcast, I found myself wishing Alex would have faded into the background a bit more, and let Rick discuss his ideas in his own way.

    David
     
  10. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I think the corruption of science is something that is yet to reach a lot of people - but no doubt there are other aspects of what is going on on the planet that are yet to reach you and I. You can feel that science corruption is going to be a massive story before long.

    http://www.doctoringdata.co.uk/

    http://www.amazon.com/Not-Even-Trying-Corruption-Science/dp/1908684186

    Even you and I may be staggered when the true scale of science corruption emerges!

    David
     
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  11. Luke Perkins

    Luke Perkins New

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    As part of dealing with this question It should be considered that consciousness has always been and still is shifting, evolving as part of the wider evolutionary process of life on Earth. The evolution of human consciousness has gone through several developmental stages. Note that I say stages not states. More on this distinction later.

    To go further with this it is best to defer to the great modern philosopher of consciousness Ken Wilber whose early book “Up From Eden” deals in detail with the evolution of consciousness stages. (Quite frankly in my opinion he makes the materialist commentators on consciousness that we are beset by look intellectually lazy, to put it mildly.)

    In another of his books “Eye To Eye - The Quest for the new Paradigm” he draws on many thinkers to summarise these 7 stages:

    “ARCHAIC - This includes material body sensations, perceptions and emotions. This is roughly equivalent, for instance, to Piaget’s sensorimotor intelligence, Maslow’s physiological needs, Loevinger’s autistic and symbiotic stages, the first and second chakras, the ananamayakosa (physical food) and pranamayakosa (élan vital).

    MAGIC - This includes simple images, symbols, and the first rudimentary concepts, or the first or lower mental productions that are “magical“ in the sense that they display condensation, displacement,”omnipotence of thought” and so on. This is Freud’s primary process, Arieti’s paleologic, Piaget’s proportional thinking: the third chakra. It is correlated with Kohlberg’s pre conventional morality, Loevinger’s impulsive and self protective stages, Maslow’s safety needs.

    MYTHIC - This stage is more advanced than magic, but not yet capable of clear rationality or hypothetico-deductive reasoning, a stage Gebser termed “mythic”. This is essentially Piaget’s concrete operational thinking; the fourth chakra, the beginning of manomayakosa (Vedanta) and manovijnana (Mahayana). It is correlated with Loevinger’s conformist and conscientious-conformist stages, Maslow’ belongingness needs, Kohlberg’s conventional stages.

    RATIONAL - This is Piaget’s formal operational thinking, propositional or hypothetical-deductive reasoning; the fifth chakra; the culmination of manamayakosa and manovijnana. It is correlated with with Loevinger’s conscientious and individualistic stages, Kohlberg’s post conventional reality, Maslow’s self esteem needs.

    PSYCHIC - “Psychic” does not necessarily mean paranormal although some texts suggest that certain paranormal events may more likely occur here. Rather it refers to the “Psyche” as a higher level of development than the rational mind per se (e.g. Aurobindo, Free John). Its cognitive structure has been called “vision logic”. or integrative logic; the sixth chakra; the beginning of the manas (Mahayana) and vijnanamakosa (Vedanta). It is correlated with Loevinger’s integrated and autonomous stages, Maslow’s self actualisation needs, Broughton’s integrated stage.

    SUBTLE - This is basically the archetypal level, the level of the “illumined mind” (Aurobindo); the culmination of mana and vijnanamayakosa; a truly transrational (not prerational and not antirational) structure: intuition in its highest and most sober sense; not emotionalism or merely bodily felt meaning; home of Platonic forms; bijamantra, vasanas, beginning of seventh chakra (and subchakras); start of Maslow’ self transcendence needs.

    CAUSAL - Or the unmanifest ground and suchness of all levels; the limit of growth and development: “Spirit in the highest sense, not as a big person but as the “ground of being” (Tillich), “Eternal Substance” (Spinosa), “Geist” (Hegel); at or beyond the seventh chakra; the anandamayakosa (Vedanta), alayavijnana (Mahayana), kether (Kabbalah).

    These seven general structure-stages of development can be further reduced to three general realms: the prerational (subconscious), the rational (self conscious), and the transnational (superconscious).”
    (Thanks Ken).

    It is important to note that this developmental process has occurred on the collective level of humans through history as well as occurring on the individual level of a human being in its progression from infancy to adulthood. The lower stages up to mythic-rational (where we seem to be collectively at present) we have all experienced in our progression as individuals. The higher stages not so much perhaps - yet.

    And so in summary maybe we are all in possession of this evolutionary heritage and it is present and ongoing within ourselves and within our culture. Despite our problems.

    Enlightenment is a state of consciousness that is linked to this development of stages of consciousness but not necessarily dependent on it. Throughout history there are certain individuals that have transcended the general stage of consciousness development that is the general background and achieved heightened states of consciousness -ie enlightenment. This is because it is an actual potential of the evolutionary process of consciousness development.

    So what does it take for our culture to experience a shift in consciousness and become more enlightened? I think it is a process that began with the big bang and is still a work in progress. And we are that process and it doesn’t help us at all to hear that this process is woo woo. Maybe what it takes is simply to continue to fight this worldview.

    And some meditation - as Roshi Dennis Merzel has famously said “Enlightenment is an accident, but meditation makes you accident prone”.
     
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  12. AlexT

    AlexT Administrator

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    I know what you mean... and that's why I guess I keep coming back to Rick's work... I think it has a lot to say about Skeptiko. I mean, what do you do once you settle on the fact that the science is clearly pointing to extended consciousness... now what.
     
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  13. AlexT

    AlexT Administrator

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    or singing kirtan... or doing yoga... or serving the poor... or...
     
  14. AlexT

    AlexT Administrator

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    or maybe this is why this world is the way that it is... grist for the mill.
     
  15. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Have you been caught by the password reset bug? Requesting a password reset 'works', but you never receive the email telling you what the new PW is! Andy found a way to reset my PW so I was able to come back with my original name.

    I do think that is a great question, and it probably deserves its own thread.

    I would say you should still do the odd show with sceptics - just for newcomers - but I don't see much point in doing many of them.

    Maybe you should spend some more time with people like Persinger (if he gives interviews) who seem to straddle the gap between materialism and extended consciousness - but actually do experiments.

    David
     
  16. You can get enlightenment doing anything if you define enlightenment right. How do you define it? There are 21 definitions here (UPDATE: dead link, try here) you can pick from or make up your own. I don't particularly care how you define it because I don't think it is a useful concept, I am not attached to any definition. But to have an intelligent conversation, we should know what we are talking about.

    (I never heard of kirtan before but I am listening to some now.... http://www.last.fm/tag/kirtan)

    Good question, what do you think you should do now?

    1. Get ready for the afterlife by living in a way that will make sure you find yourself in a good place in the afterlife?
    2. Do what people have always done once they've gotten "religion": spread the good news!
    3. Learn more about extended consciousness?

    Enlightenment could apply to 1 and 3. 1) If enlightenment makes you a better person, 3) if you have some insight during meditation.

    I would say the best way pursue 1 (spiritual development) is to meditate but I don't think you have to get enlightenment to benefit spiritually from meditation. Just developing equanimity from a typical lay person's practice will make you a better person in many ways. If you are calmer you will be more tolerant and forgiving. It is easier to love if you are happy.

    The average person will learn more about extended consciousness at a spiritualist church, or taking classes in psychic development, or reading/learning/watching videos about NDEs, psychics, mediums and parapsychology, or by listening to skeptiko podcast than by meditating.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
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  17. Dbs123

    Dbs123 New

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    This show had me frustrated at certain points. I'm getting very tired of listening to great guests be interrupted to talk about the great battle between atheists and belivers, materialists and spirituals, etc. etc. etc. You knock people for being dogmatic about beliefs, but it's extremely dogmatic to think that our culture is so locked into this materialist paradigm that it's useless to try to change anything. Like the ghengis khan comment about beliefs being forced on the masses by conquest and force. Seriously? It was very annoying listening to Alex "debate" Rick, who is so much more open minded and level headed about what he believes. He doesn't have a bone to pick with "the scientists," and he doesn't see a giant war breweing between materialism and spirituality. He's more more open to different possibilities, more willing to admit that he knows nothing. Alex, on the other hand, wastes about 15 minutes per show babbling about his perceived "culture war," which is more imaginary and pessimistic than real and concrete (and no fun to listen to).

    I still love skeptiko and tip my hat to Alex, but listening to him hijack these interviews is frustrating! Bring the conversation deeper than "theyre so wrong about materialism." Who cares about them?!
     
  18. If you could let go of your attachments and aversions you wouldn't need anything to be different than it is, you wouldn't need to change anything, you would realize that Skeptiko podcast is perfect just as it is.
     
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  19. Larry

    Larry Member

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    There is corruption at every level in society(s) as well as different levels of denial and collusion. Why would science be immune to it? The idea that someday there will be a mass house cleaning I think is incorrect. If anything it will be incremental like most everything else.
     

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