Alex Tsakiris, Four Questions About the Future of Skeptiko |414|

#1
Alex Tsakiris, Four Questions About the Future of Skeptiko |414|
by Alex Tsakiris | Jun 11 | Consciousness Research, Consciousness Science, Others, Spirituality
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Alex poses four questions about our relationship to extended consciousness realms and discusses the future of Skeptiko.
photo by: Skeptiko
What’s this war in the heart of nature?

That’s the extraordinary Jim Caviezel.

Why does nature vie with itself? The land contend with the sea?

From the extraordinary movie, The Thin Red Line.

Is there an avenging power in nature, not one power but two?

It’s a movie that poses a very big, big picture Skeptiko kind of question and in today’s show, a very rare solo show where I’m going to be pulling together a bunch of clips and asking for some input from you, in terms of directions I might go.
 
#3
Question #3: What's the relationship between space-time reality and the extended consciousness realm which appears to be beyond time?

The obvious strategy would be to consider what we from the higher realm might get from a lesser realm. It has to have some purpose. Knowledge can't be it. From NDEs we have reports of instant knowledge transfer and even the experience of total understanding. Well, what do you get out of time based sequence that you don't get out of instantaneous knowing? You get to experience the path from lesser knowledge to greater knowledge, and in a sense you get to experience creating that knowledge within yourself through your actions. Those actions/choices teach you something about yourself as an individual. They even define you as an individual.

And if in the end we're all just fragments of Gods, then perhaps we're just God exploring the possible pathways to becoming God.

Not saying anything original, clearly ("we are God exploring Himself"). Is there any other utility that time and ignorance can provide to an entity outside/beyond both?
 
#4
Great show Alex!!!!!

1. What's consciousness?

- How can this idea that we are a fleshbot subject to a purely chaotic deterministic universe still be propped up as a real question among the intellectual elites of science?​

2. The fundamental sense of discontentment we have as a species - something is just not quite right - and your underlying mind is trying to figure this out.

- Is there a reality to this 'normal' - the experience of fundamental discontentment?​
- Is there a way to change that state?​

and I would add:
[- Should we change that state in ourselves?] - Is it possible that we are here to convert hell into a live-able realm, and in transforming hell, we are also changed for the better? (Hell is defined as that realm where evil is a Wittgenstein object, but goodness is not)​

3. What is our relationship, between this reality and that extended consciousness extra-reality. Does this imply that this reality is a 'lesser' reality? (See Meurs' excellent expose above)

4. We are the science. You are not.

It is clear that there is an extraordinary investment in blocking all means of access to these issues - Is this false skepticism which rules over us and obfuscates our ability to answer questions 1 - 3, quod erat demonstrandum an intent based set?

- what is the role of deception in this process?​

This is the very purpose of The Ethical Skeptic - shedding light onto this process of deception and obfuscation:

The Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation - A 1900 element compendium of fallacy and corrupted thought commonly employed inside Social Skepticism. The largest repository of surreptitious-evil cataloged on the Web.​
It has taken me decades of work, through my years in counter-intelligence, strategy work, business and world exposure, to build this compendium.
 
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#5
I like your solo show and questions!

I’ve been pondering (let’s be honest, obsessing) #4 for quite a while now. What is the role of deception? How is it related to the nature of evil? I feel it to be a direct link with question #1 of a ‘fundamental dissatisfaction with the way things are’. It seems to be a double-bind of human nature. Children seem naturally fascinated with magic and illusion, tricks, from a very young age, they are not threatened by them normally but find them simply amazing and fun.

The eternal discontentment that comes with maturity abhors the deceptions the children find funny, because now he’s in danger of getting played and he’s aware of this now. The deceivers get the ‘duping delight’ grin, very obvious to those trained in deception. But those being deceived get peeved, as they should, and respond in similar ways as a trauma reaction: fight/flight/fawn/freeze. Survival instincts, because deception is a fabulous tool for survival. I suspect if we completely ‘evolve’ our way out of it, as would seem most ‘spiritual’ we’d all be dead ducks in no time. And yet, the sea of lies we are swallowing in this culture today leave me indignant beyond reason.

I think it goes back to the predator/prey roles inherent in nature. In our culture in most of the west today, whereas survival tricks are less important, it’s become a game of exploitation. The predator doesn’t need to struggle to survive, but he does pine for that new yacht, so why not, get better and better at deceiving, so he continues to conquer his natural environment in the manner he’s been programmed.

A good series to see some of the finer points of the masters of deception: Sneaky Pete on Amazon, really good!

Thanks for the food for thought.
 
#6
4. Why are we being deceived?

In that 2011 movie Limitless, Bradley Cooper finds a pill that maximizes his potential (the 100% of his brain trope). This makes him effectively a superhero because the rest of the world is still at fractions of their potential. While watching you probably find yourself wishing for two things: that pill, and exclusive access to that pill. (It's a power fantasy after all).

I think we're being deceived because some folks know how to manipulate reality and it's only cool and has utility if they're the only ones who can do it. Their natural gifts might even been a fraction of ours, so they have even more incentive to keep us ignorant. It's just a case of folks with information advantage attempting to maintain that advantage.

I do believe that you can only be manipulated through your own weaknesses.* When I am fearful and suspicious, my fear and suspicion can lead me to chase my tail or stress about cabals. When I'm narcissistic, my vanity can be my undoing, and I decry the ignorance and credulity of my fellow humans. My unconditional love for my children seems beyond manipulation, though, because it reminds me on some level of a forgotten oneness; I feel expansive, tolerant, and full of empathy. I believe the lessons from NDEs, etc, are telling us that cultivating our capacity for that love is what's important, but we're not that interested in it because there isn't much novelty or intellectual stimulus in it. Also, it's not clear how to go about it, at least not to me.

* I believe this is how identity politics is used for divide and conquer by those who run the media: they work our tribal inclinations to otherize folks in the same social class: Interracial marriage...to gay relationships...to gay marriage...to transgender bathroom access. The wedge issues change, but there's always a new one when they old one wears out. Star Wars and Capt Marvel aren't naturally feminist. They designed from the start to be divisive. Anything to distract us from that fact that we're an oligarchy.
 
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#7
#1 Biological robots in a meaningless universe

We are not biological robots, there is a huge amount of evidence that the afterlife is real and consciousness is non-physical. but I don't understand what "free will" means so I can't say if we are spiritual robots or not. I tend to believe that everything, including behavior, thoughts, emotions, and impulses has a cause.

I don't know if the physical universe has meaning. How can a universe have meaning? A word or a symbol can have meaning. The universe as far as I know is not a symbol in that sense. I believe life and the universe were created for a purpose: To provide spiritual beings with a place to have experiences that cannot be had in the spiritual realms.

#2 Discontentment
I think discontentment is built into us biologically because it helps species to maintain themselves, and also because the physical world is not meant to be perfect. It is meant to be imperfect to provide us with problems to experience - people learn best by solving problems - by learning from experience. We are here to learn.

Discontentment is like a koan. A koan is a question a Zen master ask a student to teach them something. There are various types of koans. One type is a trick question that leads the student to think incorrectly about a problem. When the student becomes advanced enough he sees through the trick and is not fooled by it. Life and the universe is a koan like this and are full of many many such koans. The next time you feel anger (discontentment), remind yourself that you have been fooled by a koan. But also remember: how could you learn that if you didn't feel anger?

For practical purposes, for most people, there is no alternative to discontentment. If Dr. Martin wants to convince folks otherwise, he should publish controlled studies demonstrating it. Even if it is possible, most people don't want "enlightenment". They want a hit of dopamine, they want to get things, they want status. Who is to say that is wrong? Some people want to see through illusion and that's okay too. We are all here for different reasons. But no one ever came back from an NDE and said we all have to meditate and get enlightenment. One of the things they often say is that in the afterlife, existence is much nicer than it is in the physical world.

Meditation can reduce discontentment, but even those who claim to have attained some stage of Buddhist awakening admit that almost no one throughout history has ever perfected it. The most important step in reducing discontentment, in my opinion, is to stop being discontent about being discontent. You can't start with perfection, you have to start by accepting discontentment and not strive to end it - because striving only reinforces discontentment.

(Alex, you seem to be supportive Dr. Martin's research. One of his finding is that meditation produces a reduced sense of agency. Does that affect your view of free will? )



#3 Realms of existence
There are non-physical realms. Most humans experience the physical world while alive and the non-physical realms before birth and after death. Above I mentioned life and the universe were created for the purpose of providing a place where we can learn from experiences that cannot be had in the spiritual realms.

Some ET life forms are like humans and are mostly only aware of and function in the physical world, but some ET life forms are aware of and can function in both physical and spiritual realms.

My opinion is that unless a practitioner can routinely bring back verifiable information from out of the body experiences, most induced OBE's are lucid dreams, And spontaneous OBE's are more likely to be real.

I don't know about psychedelic realms but I am skeptical that a drug that is known to produce hallucinations would produce an accurate perception of an alternate reality. I am not against experimenting with drugs for medical and scientific purposes but I am against financially supporting organized crime gangs who sell illegal drugs because the gangs are involved in many harmful crimes that ruin lives and countries.

#4 Deception and Evil
The biggest deception that occurs is when we deceive ourselves. We try to understand what we perceive with our senses and we make up stories to explain it, usually not by using logic, but by contriving scenarios that minimize cognitive dissonance. Sometimes the stories are true, sometimes they are fiction. One consequence of this is that when spiritual beings communicate with us, they have to use a language and conceptual framework that ignorant, confused, and deluded beings like us can understand, and if they cause too much cognitive dissonance we will ignore them, disbelieve them, or suspect them of being evil - so they are constrained in what they can tell us, and how they explain it, and in what techniques they can use to teach us.

There is evil because evil is produced by ignorance. Good actions have pleasant consequences. Bad actions have unpleasant consequences. Eventually everyone figures that out. It is one of the things we are here to learn through experience.

Based on reports by NDErs, what evidential mediums have said, and my own experiences communicating with spirits, I believe there are different areas of the afterlife and after death people go to areas where they will be with like minded people. This happens through a process that is more like a natural law such as gravity, than by a law where you are judged by someone else. People who like harming others have their areas and those areas are not pleasant to be in. Eventually those people get a clue and figure out there is a better way to be and they get help to raise their level. So there are hellish regions but no one is condemned to spend an eternity in them.

People may visit these areas during NDEs in order to come back and tell the rest of us about them or because they will benefit from a glimpse of what is in store for them if they continue on their current path.


What is it like in the aftelife?
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/articles-and-links-arranged-by-subject.html#articles_by_subject_like
 
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#8
4. Why are we being deceived?

I guess it depends on the level of the deceit. There are other humans deceiving us for all the basically petty reasons that people do that, but perhaps there is a deeper level of deceit that is necessary to maintain the illusion of the physical world. We ourselves participate in this process. We constantly pretend things are true that are obviously false (or the other way around), for example:

When you watch a video you, are pretending that you are watching the 'real thing'.

When you watch a play, you are looking at real humans, but letting them trick you into thinking they are other people involved in some sort of drama.

When you are placed in a VR environment, you let someone replace most of your real environment for a fake one.

If we meet someone who is looking really ill, we may tell them they are looking great! We know it is false, and they probably do too!

All these forms of deceit are accepted as normal, and I suspect that much more deceit is needed to keep us focused on the physical plane. However, that may just be the way in which people can experience physical reality.

David
 
#9
My unconditional love for my children seems beyond manipulation, though, because it reminds me on some level of a forgotten oneness; I feel expansive, tolerant, and full of empathy
This is key I think to understanding why/how we’ve ‘evolved’ to allow evil to be in charge. I guess I mean this as a bit of a challenge, without being explicitly confrontational if you are not welcome to it. But, what is ‘unconditional love’ to you? I think this is a really important question to confront, b/c in my personal life I am currently confronting it! :)

Has your unconditional love ever been truly tested? Every convict has a parent, and I’d be willing to bet at least half of them have a parent who has claimed they are unconditionally loved. Is it a good idea to unconditionally love a murderer? Can we continue to play the game of ‘love the sinner, not the sin?’ — are we not actually giving a free pass to bad behavior, mostly b/c we hate to confront and wish others would just do it for us?

Then we get into the semantics, ok, I love you unconditionally, but . . . I won’t tolerate a,b,c, . . . Great, now we have boundaries, but how effective are they when the murderer still knows no matter what he does he is still unconditionally loved, and the murdered is little more than the fruits of evil being constantly re-sowed?
 
#10
Question #3: What's the relationship between space-time reality and the extended consciousness realm which appears to be beyond time?

The obvious strategy would be to consider what we from the higher realm might get from a lesser realm. It has to have some purpose. Knowledge can't be it. From NDEs we have reports of instant knowledge transfer and even the experience of total understanding. Well, what do you get out of time based sequence that you don't get out of instantaneous knowing? You get to experience the path from lesser knowledge to greater knowledge, and in a sense you get to experience creating that knowledge within yourself through your actions. Those actions/choices teach you something about yourself as an individual. They even define you as an individual.

And if in the end we're all just fragments of Gods, then perhaps we're just God exploring the possible pathways to becoming God.

Not saying anything original, clearly ("we are God exploring Himself"). Is there any other utility that time and ignorance can provide to an entity outside/beyond both?
*****
um hum, well, I had a thought; I was wondering what it would be like to be God myself one day, and I kind of saw myself just sitting in space, thinking about it all. Since I would be all knowing & all powerful, it would dawn on me that MAYBE I just THINK I'm all knowing & powerful because really I have nothing to compare me to.

So, I figured (since I'm all powerful) I would probably just blow myself up into smaller pieces giving each piece a part of me (this I will call a soul). Now, each piece lives it's life (wherever/earth/ some other planet) but, it has freedom of choices. By making these choices I can actually explore myself & the meaning of things and why things are. Like none of us understand those hideous child molesters (we can't imagine why anyone would hurt a small child). BUT, even the most evil (say a Hitler or one of his spawns) we might be able to understand why things are.

This is why people who have NDE's say it is like "coming home" & they understand now. Because they are rejoining the collective.
 
#11
This is key I think to understanding why/how we’ve ‘evolved’ to allow evil to be in charge. I guess I mean this as a bit of a challenge, without being explicitly confrontational if you are not welcome to it. But, what is ‘unconditional love’ to you? I think this is a really important question to confront, b/c in my personal life I am currently confronting it! :)

Has your unconditional love ever been truly tested? Every convict has a parent, and I’d be willing to bet at least half of them have a parent who has claimed they are unconditionally loved. Is it a good idea to unconditionally love a murderer? Can we continue to play the game of ‘love the sinner, not the sin?’ — are we not actually giving a free pass to bad behavior, mostly b/c we hate to confront and wish others would just do it for us?

Then we get into the semantics, ok, I love you unconditionally, but . . . I won’t tolerate a,b,c, . . . Great, now we have boundaries, but how effective are they when the murderer still knows no matter what he does he is still unconditionally loved, and the murdered is little more than the fruits of evil being constantly re-sowed?
***
WTH!? No, there is no "unconditional love". Sorry but if you start doing all kinds of weirdness & you cross the line. You're OFF the Christmas card list. A total waste of your time to give "unconditional love" to someone who couldn't care less about you or doesn't respect you. Life is short enough, you spend your time with people who do love you & those who are good for you. Yes, it's VERY hard when you're a very loving & forgiving person (such as myself).

But, I'm also no idiot. And yes my "unconditional love" has been tested (and tested VERY harshly). I think people just think I'm this loving, giving person all the time. I first make sure I understand what exactly is going on, then I make sure the other person confirms what was said or done, so there are no misunderstandings. I calm down & take a long look at why & how this came about. I might even consult a professional. I will get others points of view. Frankly, most people will totally write off people very easily, but, I give it thought.

Once you completely understand what the situation is, it's time to "cut bait". The reasons for this are simple. If you (enable) a freak to continue to be a freak; well, why would they change? Heck if you don't respect yourself enough why should they respect you?

You leave in hopes they will grow up. If they don't well then, you are not subjected to their loony drama. WHICH will bring me to answering Alex's Q on "evil or demons".
 
#12
This is why people who have NDE's say it is like "coming home" & they understand now. Because they are rejoining the collective.

Oh NO, NO, NO! My GOD will never celebrate me rejoining the collective!
 
#13
Alex Tsakiris, Four Questions About the Future of Skeptiko |414|
by Alex Tsakiris | Jun 11 | Consciousness Research, Consciousness Science, Others, Spirituality
Share
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Alex poses four questions about our relationship to extended consciousness realms and discusses the future of Skeptiko.
photo by: Skeptiko
What’s this war in the heart of nature?

That’s the extraordinary Jim Caviezel.

Why does nature vie with itself? The land contend with the sea?

From the extraordinary movie, The Thin Red Line.

Is there an avenging power in nature, not one power but two?

It’s a movie that poses a very big, big picture Skeptiko kind of question and in today’s show, a very rare solo show where I’m going to be pulling together a bunch of clips and asking for some input from you, in terms of directions I might go.
****
Well ALEX, you sure like to ask EASY questions! I'm not even sure I understand exactly your questions. They are either too basic or pretty complex.

Where to START!?~ Okay about being "discontent". Sure a lot of time we are restless, we don't know why things are & just when we think we got it figured out, we find we are either wrong or someone lead us down some shady path.

HOWEVER, this "discontent" you speak of, I'm not sure what you are discontent about. Just in general? Are you eating right, riding your bike & getting enough rest? Taking your vitamins? Okay then, are you surrounding yourself with weirdos? Freaks or flakes? Stop that, they are sooooo draining.

Discontent on why things are & how you ended up where you are & I ended up over here? That you don't understand why? That kind of discontent?

I'm trying to keep this short but your 4 questions, just one could fill a book. I think based on some of what you are asking, I think... (this might be a stretch) BUT, (combining some of your Q's) are you discontent BECAUSE a whole bunch of people lied to us all, about a lot of stuff? So, for a long time you believed them? Like the religious stuff, government, education, research... medical things even war? Did it bum you out to figure out there were people who would have you dead for a car payment (and they were professionals)? Did it bug you when you saw people lied to get us into wars? Did you become disgruntled to find out doctors would lie to you (even operate on you) knowing there wasn't anything wrong???? yeah, me too. But, hey, I got away just before the cutting began. *phew.

You then asked about "demons", "evil" and paired that with deception. um hum. You know some Baptist guy I worked with became very upset with me because of my beliefs (I'm not Baptist). He asked if I DIDN'T BELIEVE IN DEMONS!!!??? I calmly told him I believed in mental illness.

SO! Why do people deceive us? Or groups of us. Like churches you mean? You know why Alex. It was about control. Frankly, I'm starting to think there are a lot more psychopaths among us than we thought. They LOVE power. They think we are stupid and they are smart. This is why when you are around one, you should always be VERY quiet and let them talk. Let them talk a LOT, because they will & they will tell you exactly what they think a lot of times. Just smile & nod. < encourage them to yap.

Okay the last one.... "reality". Well, I've been in a few different realities (some you mentioned). BUT, I never lost who I was or where I was. There is no "lessor" reality. There are just different realities. Like if you are giving birth, that will take your attention for that time. If you are high, well then, that is another "reality" but, you are still there, the observer.

UFO's. Hey, they don't like us. I don't know if there are different kinds from different places or times, but the ones I saw... they didn't like humans. Those big eyed ones. You could tell this by the way they behave as well. But, the time I saw them I was terrified. So, I was still me, it wasn't a "lessor" or "greater" reality. It was just that moment in time.

You know what your next question will be don't you? Where are we going? I got this... (I think for now) our next evolution would be to Ai. We won't be able to beat it, we'll have to join it if we are smart. IF this is so, and if the universe IS as old as they say... AND if we are not alone... then someone got here before us. Which would mean several things... they already figured out how to bend time (possibly time travel). What would YOU do if YOU could time travel? Of course... you'd go back & help yourself or mankind (well, I hope you'd help). So UFO could be time travelers. I don't know, I'm just suggesting.

Man has become very destructive. We are killing off a lot of animals & living creatures. So before we wipe this planet out... maybe someone will come back & give man a helping hand (or... hey, maybe the psycho's got there first). (?) hope not.
 
#14
This is why people who have NDE's say it is like "coming home" & they understand now. Because they are rejoining the collective.

Oh NO, NO, NO! My GOD will never celebrate me rejoining the collective!
***
LOL, so you won't be joining the "borg"? yeh, I'm having 2nd thoughts about being joined at the hip with the likes of Charles Manson!

BTW, I hate to burst a bubble for ya, but you really don't think heaven is like the Stepford wives do you? Everyone is nice, nobody lies, we all play harps. Then you wouldn't be human, cause humans tell lies, they cheat and run red lights. Frankly, those freaks that did 9/11... when they arrived, I don't think 72 virgins came running over.

I think they were confronted by 220 angry passengers that had lives and families to take care of.
 
#15
Unconditional love is something you feel. It is not something you give. It is unconditional. It does not require you to do anything or to receive anything in return.

Love conditional or unconditional does not mean you trust people who are untrustworthy or you are a slave, or you let someone do harm with impunity. People do those things only when they confuse loving a person with wanting a person. Love is only something you feel.
 
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#16
This is all wrong and/or incomplete but I got iPhones to make so...

Contentment
  • contentment and boredom (among other things) are mutually exclusive
  • it is a human need to seek out and overcome challenges
=> while attainable, contentment is necessarily transient

NDE/DMT/ET
  • consciousness = NDE = DMT = ET (ockham's razor)
  • human experience transfers to the extended experence perfectly intact while NDE experience doesn't transfer back here very well
  • the assortment of NDE characters is fairly limited (our peeps, some random dude guarding the "entrance", god itself)
=> interest in our activities here is fairly limited, with information flowing one-way only (from this "lower" plane to the "upper")


(Self) Deception & the Bad Consciousness Meme
  • it is a human need to question and to seek understanding
  • spirituality does not provide anything we can sink our teeth into, religion is garbage, and most people can't discern the two
  • the western world has thrown out the baby with the bathwater with regard to spirituality & religion and has opted to rely exclusively on science
  • understanding of consciousness is not attainable by science
  • humans are prone to engage in self-deception when understanding is elusive
=> the western world has backed itself into a corner, compelled to understand by means of a tool that precludes understanding and is thrashing about accordingly

Deception (the other kind)
  • every person believes themselves to be fundamentally good
  • every person believes the world could be made better
  • a particular kind of sick person relishes in the belief that they are capable of understanding beyond the rest of humanity
=> in lieu of being able bring others around to their way of understanding, a well-meaning yet sick person is apt to engage in deception for some greater good

Unsolicited Ramblings on Evil

At the end of the day, it's another loaded and inadequate word but my latest unsubstantiated thinking is that a) it's real and b) this life is better equipping us to deal with it.
 
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#17
This is key I think to understanding why/how we’ve ‘evolved’ to allow evil to be in charge. I guess I mean this as a bit of a challenge, without being explicitly confrontational if you are not welcome to it. But, what is ‘unconditional love’ to you? I think this is a really important question to confront, b/c in my personal life I am currently confronting it! :)

Has your unconditional love ever been truly tested? Every convict has a parent, and I’d be willing to bet at least half of them have a parent who has claimed they are unconditionally loved. Is it a good idea to unconditionally love a murderer? Can we continue to play the game of ‘love the sinner, not the sin?’ — are we not actually giving a free pass to bad behavior, mostly b/c we hate to confront and wish others would just do it for us?

Then we get into the semantics, ok, I love you unconditionally, but . . . I won’t tolerate a,b,c, . . . Great, now we have boundaries, but how effective are they when the murderer still knows no matter what he does he is still unconditionally loved, and the murdered is little more than the fruits of evil being constantly re-sowed?
I don't really think about the mechanics of it that much. I just know they're more important to me than I am to myself, which isn't something I've felt before. When they're selfish or obnoxious, I am irritated and judgmental, but the love is still there. I imagine it would be there even after they shot up a school. Since I didn't make an effort to experience that love, I'm not sure if there is a set of circumstances that would make it go away. I'm very doubtful of it.
 
#18
I thought this was a neat, brief episode and I enjoyed listening to it. Brought up a lot of food for thought for me.

1. How and why are elites promoting the idea that we're biological robots in a meaningless robots and/or the idea that consciouness doesn't exist?

I think the much more interesting paradigmatic explanation of consciousness is the emergence model (as opposed to "consciousness doesn't exist"). I also tend to believe that the emergence model is basically compatible with idealism models, extended consciousness models, etc. in addition to being basically compatible with materialist models.

I also tend to think that emergence and the related fields of dynamic systems theory, complexity theory, and chaos theory are super interesting and rather difficult, kind of like quantum mechanics is interesting and rather difficult. It seems like folks are more interested in QM than they are in dynamic systems/complexity theory, which is unfortunate because it seems to me that there is fertile ground in the dynamic systems/complexity theory that could be woven into idealist models in interesting ways.

2. Are people fundamentally discontent? And if so, is it possible for us to transcend that discontent or achieve some higher level of consciousness.

I tend to believe that growth is possible. I'm not too sure about some kind of ultimate transcendence. The talk of transcendence in this brief episode gets me thinking about some of the strengths and weaknesses of spiritual perspectives. Transcendence is a grand idea, but what does it say about the "untranscended"? Do our lives matter at all if we don't ultimately transcend? And if the answer is no, our lives do not matter unless we transcend, then it seems to me this perspective is no better than materialist nihilism. For me, I am thinking of the idea of transcendence as an archetypal idea and thinking of Buddha, Dr. Strange, gurus, etc as archetypal figures. Perhaps the reality or unreality of transcendence is less important than what the whole idea represents for me in my little life.

3. What is the relationship between "this reality that is bound in space/time" and "that reality that transcends space/time"? And if this other reality transcends space/time, what does it tell us about our reality that is confined by space/time? Does it suggest that his reality is a lesser reality?

To define a relationship, you have to be able to say something about both parties in the relationship.

If there are "extended realities that we will never know" as Alex put it, then if follows, I think, that we can't adequately define the relationship between "this reality" and "that reality".

Regarding Alex's comments about how maybe this reality we are in that is bounded by time and space is a lesser reality seems to me that it may be the "spiritual nihilist" answer to "materialist nihilism." It seems possible that calling our current reality a "lesser reality" literally "demeans" our current reality. It seems like it is taking meaning out of this reality and trying to give the meaning to some other reality, which seems like an unsatisfactory model to me. So if the materialist says that "we are biological robots in a meaningless universe," this position that is being articulated here seems to be something like "we are spiritual souls stuck in a meaningless space/time universe".

By the way, I think there's an interesting parallel between the idea that we are in a reality that is "gripped" by time/space and the way that different beliefs/ideas can feel like a "grip" on our personal energy.

4. What is the role of deception in this process?

When I hear this angle on the show it tends to feel like I'm listening to a person take a Rorschach test.

I tend to think it's damn near impossible to truly KNOW somebody else. I don't think we can always fully KNOW ourselves. We have to guess at other people's motivations and intentions all the time to function in the world, but I think we also have to be prepared to acknowledge that it is guesswork, and after a while, the patterns of how we respond to other people's actions starts to say as much about us as it does about them.

I don't know. For me, there's darkness in people. There's evil in the world. Humans are terribly flawed. I don't think there will ever be a satisfying answer on this one. There will always be plenty of theories and opinions and we'll all muddle along doing the best we can.

My research these days is on Robert Ellis and his stuff on embodied meaning versus representational meaning. Basically, we all have ideas about every damn thing, but we will never have the full/complete ideas on every damn thing. We can commit deeply to a theory, an idea, a system, but eventually there will come a context that either forces us to change our idea, or we commit to it harder. So on some of these big questions, our ideas may never be satisfying or complete for the long run.

I also like the idea of their being emotional knowledge, spiritual knowledge, cognitive knowledge. You're not going to build your iPhone with emotional and spiritual knowledge, and you're not going to get satisfying answers to questions like question #3 with cognitive knowledge. I tend to think that the best cognitive answers for these difficult questions will eventually run into a barrier of paradox and nonsense and will not penetrate beyond that barrier. And so to lock into cognitive models becomes an exercise in spiritual faith and/or an exercise in emotional energy working itself out.
 
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#19
4. Why are we being deceived?

In that 2011 movie Limitless, Bradley Cooper finds a pill that maximizes his potential (the 100% of his brain trope). This makes him effectively a superhero because the rest of the world is still at fractions of their potential. While watching you probably find yourself wishing for two things: that pill, and exclusive access to that pill. (It's a power fantasy after all).

I think we're being deceived because some folks know how to manipulate reality and it's only cool and has utility if they're the only ones who can do it. Their natural gifts might even been a fraction of ours, so they have even more incentive to keep us ignorant. It's just a case of folks with information advantage attempting to maintain that advantage.

I do believe that you can only be manipulated through your own weaknesses.* When I am fearful and suspicious, my fear and suspicion can lead me to chase my tail or stress about cabals. When I'm narcissistic, my vanity can be my undoing, and I decry the ignorance and credulity of my fellow humans. My unconditional love for my children seems beyond manipulation, though, because it reminds me on some level of a forgotten oneness; I feel expansive, tolerant, and full of empathy. I believe the lessons from NDEs, etc, are telling us that cultivating our capacity for that love is what's important, but we're not that interested in it because there isn't much novelty or intellectual stimulus in it. Also, it's not clear how to go about it, at least not to me.

* I believe this is how identity politics is used for divide and conquer by those who run the media: they work our tribal inclinations to otherize folks in the same social class: Interracial marriage...to gay relationships...to gay marriage...to transgender bathroom access. The wedge issues change, but there's always a new one when they old one wears out. Star Wars and Capt Marvel aren't naturally feminist. They designed from the start to be divisive. Anything to distract us from that fact that we're an oligarchy.
This is ridiculously syncronistic. I actually watched Limitless last night - for the very first time! (ha - you also say it's a 2011 movie - another 11 for me :))
 
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