Emma Restall Orr, It Took a Druid to Demolish Scientific Materialism |346|

#23
Well, not to be a total jerk, but in some cultures, it very much is. I don't think I could express it any more clearly than I did in my last post. You and I are products of post-colonialist culture, where the entire world is (at least seemingly) open to us, and we have no particular ties to any particular place other than "ordinary" sentimental ties. To certain indigenous cultures, though, the thought of moving across the world on some sort of whim is... well, unthinkable: they have a responsibility to maintain their land and its animals, plants, spirits and Dreaming, through song, ritual and ceremony; they very much are tied to specific places, which their descendants will be too. I mean, I get what you're saying: it's not like that for us, or for most people in the world. That's fine. But for certain cultures, when you take away their land, you take away everything.
I guess we're kind of agreeing and at the same time talking past each other. this sense of place... of land... of our people has not only always been with us, and is still with us moderns. how many of yr childhood friends stayed put due to this sense of place. but, that doesn't make it real! we have all these built in predispositions (some much more than others) and we develop all sorts of rituals and beliefs around them. then, add in the spirit world and things get really complicated. I don't think we need to look at indigenous people as being all that different.

I suspect Emma balks at reincarnation because it kinda crushes all this "land and blood" stuff. I'm not willing to look past the reincarnation science.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#24
Maybe some people reincarnate, some people don't.

Imagine a bunch of aliens all deciding to play one of our massive online games. They would all be "human" in the game, but have different roles and ideas that would go on after they finish the game.

Same might be the case with souls.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#26
What's the difference between Anism or panpshycism ? I know I spelt those wrong
Here's a good intro from a prior interview:

http://skeptiko.com/gordon-white-pieces-eight-part-2-aleister-crowley-opposite-day-333/

Gordon White: Well, it certainly opens with kind of “Goldilocks-ing” our way through different models of reality, the main ones being materialism, which doesn’t work and then we start to move onto ones that I like less, but are slightly better than materialism. We have panpsychism, which is essentially a fudge to kind of keep materialism in the game, and then we have idealism, sort of the idea that everything is kind of one mind; that’s in there and I like that well enough. I think it describes reality certainly better than panpsychism or materialism, but it’s in that Goldilocks sense, not quite right. It bends rather than breaks a model when you come to deal with high strange phenomena, magic, UFOs and so on. And so it then explores this idea of return of animismto what I call the philosophical big table where it… animism has been a very popular idea for the last 20 years within ecological circles or post-colonial indigenous politic circles and that’s all well and good. I don’t see a lot of…

Alex Tsakiris: What does it mean in those circles? Because I think it has a little bit of a different meaning in those circles than it does in the magic occult circles world and you do a nice job of defining those differences and similarities.

Gordon White: Well, it sort of means the same thing. A broad description of animism would be… well, I call a spirit haunted universe, but in the kind of political speak, it is that humans aren’t the only persons.

Alex Tsakiris: Right.

Gordon White: There are nonhuman persons. They can be sacred mountains. They can be plants. They can be ancestors. And it’s sort of decentralizing or democratizing personhood and you can make a very good case that it’s our kind of aboriginal view of personhood that we’ve got in a post-Christian, post-Descartes world, but has sort of imbalanced people, both mentally and quite messed with the environment. So it’s good in that political sense and there’s a lot of value that comes out of people discussing it in that sort of sphere. They do still tend to stop short of the things, and we’ve had this discussion before, the things that change everything,
 
#27
What's the difference between Anism or panpshycism ? I know I spelt those wrong
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panpsychism

Panpsychism is related to the more holistic view that the whole Universe is an organism that possesses a mind (cosmic consciousness). It is claimed to be distinct from animism or hylozoism, which hold that all things have a soul or are alive, respectively.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheism
Pantheism is the belief that all reality is identical with divinity,[1] or that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent god.[2] Pantheists thus do not believe in a distinct personal or anthropomorphic god.[3]
This is closest to my view:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panentheism
Panentheism (from the Ancient Greek expression πᾶν ἐν θεῷ, pān en theṓ, literally “all in God”[1][2]) is the belief that the divine pervades and interpenetrates every part of the universe and also extends beyond time and space.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#29
top down versus bottom up.
Can you elaborate? Curious as your response made me think some more about the question ->

Finding a place for Animism does seem worthwhile IMO, it fits nicely with some ideas floating around about metaphysics...I kind of think Animism has a refreshing cleanliness to it as it divorces itself completely from assumptions about physical laws (which don't do anything anyway) and matter/energy (where no one knows what either actually is) being the foundation. It's like a preceding echo for later metaphysics like Whitehead's Occasions or Leibniz's Monads.

Animism to me is looking at oneself having a subjective view that has a boundary of experience and an inner volition and then projecting that onto everything around us. However everything has a mental/internal/subjective pole and a physical/external/objective pole. It could be Idealism at the bottom, or Information Realism, or something else...but functionally you are considering yourself a conscious entity among a variety of other conscious entities - what Gordon White thinks of as non-human, non-biological, and in some cases non-corporeal entities.

This actually helps to make sense of causation, where you need effective properties (to have a cause) and receptive properties (to have an effect). This is why there's "Something rather than Everything" because of the societies of conscious entities choosing, within the limits of prior decisions (karma), their future paths from the realm of possibilities. The smaller the consciousness the more limited the choices. Effective properties relate to the decisions an entity can make in the world through its causal powers, receptive properties are the way an entity is effected by the world around it - a world made up of other free willing entities. So we have Sartre's definition for freedom, where freedom is what you do with what is done to you.

The Harmony between Spirits/Entities is why we have a fairly predictable world, the Freedom inherent to this conception of reality reconciles randomness with the Principle of Sufficient Reason - every entity, human or otherwise, is making decisions about the next state of that piece of the Whole they constitute.

Not saying this is The Answer but it is cool how a seemingly archaic idea put to pasture can be revitalized.
 
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#31
I listen to podcasts quite rarely, these days - not because of any issues on the producer's side, but because I am awfully picky with how I "waste" my ears. Given that, it was a rare event (no offence intended, Alex), that I chose to listen to this one. The promise that hooked me was: a coherent explanation of the philosophy of animism, with the benefit of a proven critic (our esteemed host) who doesn't hold back on "what needs to be said".

Awesome!

I am very partial to the spirituality of indigenous "Australians", having had a "strange" experience which validates it, and, given that indigenous Australians are animists, I thought I might get a sense of "how it fits together", of how "the animist worldview coheres", including for my brothers and sisters who were here in this land before me.

Unfortunately - and again, I mean no offence by this - the interview didn't quite work out that way, as I had hoped. Alex asked all sorts of interesting questions, and got all sorts of interesting answers, in a voice which David rightfully points out is extraordinary, and I value the interview process and its results as such very much... but as for the question, "What is animism and what does it hold to be conscious?" - the question which I would have thought would be crucial... we were left wanting.

Is Jenny's toy bear conscious due to the human love that has been bestowed upon it? Does a chair, given the careful workmanship with which it has been constructed, experience emotions when a person sits upon it? - these are two very simple, perhaps even childlike, but on the other hand non-obviously answerable, questions that I would have liked to have been put to Emma. What exactly does animism say about consciousness, particularly about "objects" which materialism would barely deign to recognise, let alone as sentient? The interview simply didn't go there. This was quite disappointing to me. And I haven't even talked about plants, the more "reasonable" candidates for "animistic consciousness".

Once more, I have to emphasise that I very much value the interview as it is (or was), I just feel that the very fundamentals of the topic on which it was predicated were not even really broached, let alone explored.

Argh, Alex, I feel like I'm $#@!ing on your turf, man, and I have to emphasise again that I mean no disrespect - I'm not even sure that in your shoes, I would have satisfied my carping self, but... well, sometimes a guy has to offer a (hopefully respectful) critique. What exactly is animism? What does it hold to be conscious, and why? How does it differ from panpsychism? These are (some of) the questions I would have loved for you to have asked! Maybe, if Emma sees fit to participate, you could invite her to this thread to answer them with her gracious yet solid personality.
I hope this isn't offensive, but I think maybe you're a little too afraid of being offensive. Integrate your shadow and flip somebody the bird every now and then. ;)

In regards to the toy bear and chair. I have wondered the same things...

I don't think the chair or bear have anything like what we might call experience or emotion, but I think that there is a semantic connection with all objects and their stories which imparts an emotional anchor or "charge" or "spirit" to objects which can be perceived. I imagine the object as a point on a timeline with field lines curving out to different points on the timeline where the object was associated with an emotional event. This is the fullness of the "5D" object which is composed of not just material but also meaning and emotion.

I think we are all like that: having real semantic connections to the past and future.

This idea of semantic connections to emotionally charged events combined with Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields where biologically similar (familial) creatures share a real connection through time... leads to the idea of concentric circles of connectedness... which oddly enough is now adopted by the white nationalist sect of the Alt-right in a push back against white discrimination and multiculturalism. And although I find some of those ideas potentially dangerous, I can't help but agree with some of them.

When you have millennia of traditions and culture and religion and genetically similar family lines in a geographical region, I think an emotional "charge" or "spirit" gets built up that is something powerful (and also can be constructive or dangerous) which those in modern western culture have lost to a great extent the ability to feel and experience. Many of us are people without roots and without a story or a sense of connectedness. Reductionism in science resulted in the fragmentation of groups into individuals and then shattered individuals upon which corporations have imposed a depressing uniformity of thought and non-culture. And I am big on individuality and not following the herd and I think groups of people are scary and dangerous. But it's also a trade off, that we gain freedom from restrictive traditional structures but also miss out on a certain tribal collectivist aspects of human experience which create the sense of connectedness that many in the modern world are missing.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#32
This idea of semantic connections to emotionally charged events combined with Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields where biologically similar (familial) creatures share a real connection through time... leads to the idea of concentric circles of connectedness... which oddly enough is now adopted by the white nationalist sect of the Alt-right in a push back against white discrimination and multiculturalism. And although I find some of those ideas potentially dangerous, I can't help but agree with some of them.
It seems to me any race-based tribalism is already, not potentially, dangerous given whites and non-whites have been killed for it in 2017?

It is interesting to consider that geographic echoes play a role in the kind of identification people have. I've felt more connection with other math and econ majors, D&D players, etc than I have with people of my race/religion, but there is a kind of primeval echo race/religion that keeps me from eating beef despite not actually believing in the idea that cows are more sacred than other animals.

One of my friends greatly resents the idea that him being black or even male should be expressed online, he longs for the pre-social media Internet of the 90s which he feels was more a place of ideas rather than identity. I'm not sure I 100% agree with him but I do think there was something appealing there, and it may be that it enabled the creation of new patterns, new family constellations that possibly brought something transformative to the "morphic resonance" that could better divorce itself from the weight of the past.

Not even sure one needs actual morphogenic fields in this instance, as even from a metaphorical standpoint there's value....but perhaps this helps explain why certain lines of identification dominate over others...
 
#33
It seems to me any race-based tribalism is already, not potentially, dangerous given whites and non-whites have been killed for it in 2017?
I think race relations have made amazing progress over the last few decades, but I think since the 2008 election things got worse because there was a concerted effort on the part of the media and the democrats to use racial identity in minority groups for gaining political power and the result was racism against whites which provoked a reaction in some whites to get tribal and reassert their ethnic identity as something valuable and not to be ashamed of.

I think one can be proud of one's race and heritage and the strengths unique to that history and ancestors without being prejudiced and hateful of others, but for a group on the whole to maintain such a balanced benevolent attitude towards those in other groups is far more difficult. "Pride cometh before a fall."

Groups of people are dangerous and anything that brings cohesiveness to the group increases the strength of the group - doesn't matter whether that's an ideology or a heritage. But if there is a biological morphogenetic resonance action then cohesiveness based on race and a shared history can probably be more powerful than ideological cohesion as it has a kind of physicality to it.

It is interesting to consider that geographic echoes play a role in the kind of identification people have. I've felt more connection with other math and econ majors, D&D players, etc than I have with people of my race/religion, but there is a kind of primeval echo race/religion that keeps me from eating beef despite not actually believing in the idea that cows are more sacred than other animals.
That is interesting! We know instincts can be programmed into animals through the generations, but for some reason most people don't consider how this has occurred in humans. Perhaps hundreds of generations before you had an aversion to beef so that instinct has asserted itself in your culinary tastes.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#34
I think one can be proud of one's race and heritage and the strengths unique to that history and ancestors without being prejudiced and hateful of others, but for a group on the whole to maintain such a balanced benevolent attitude towards those in other groups is far more difficult. "Pride cometh before a fall."

Groups of people are dangerous and anything that brings cohesiveness to the group increases the strength of the group - doesn't matter whether that's an ideology or a heritage. But if there is a biological morphogenetic resonance action then cohesiveness based on race and a shared history can probably be more powerful than ideological cohesion as it has a kind of physicality to it.
It is interesting that we feel pride from any group we identify with. "Nerds run the world", for example. Even if this is true the individual "nerd" doesn't necessarily have any benefit nor do they necessarily deserve credit. Same with non-mental identifications like race, gender, etc.

I get the value of counterexamples - if someone says group-X cannot do something you can point to a member. But this seems different from feeling pride just from being in group-X because someone else in group-X did something.

It's a curious question which simply might be answered psychologically, though there might be some metaphysical possibilities there as well.

Regarding the actual state of race relations in the US or elsewhere that seems too far from the metaphysical questions so don't want to go down that hole. :)

That is interesting! We know instincts can be programmed into animals through the generations, but for some reason most people don't consider how this has occurred in humans. Perhaps hundreds of generations before you had an aversion to beef so that instinct has asserted itself in your culinary tastes.
Well, I've failed numerous times and eaten beef accidentally. It's pretty delicious!

It is curious why we have any need to feel connected to cultural artifacts - is the reason morphogenic? Is the physical instantiation somehow more meaningful (whatever that word means) than the non-spatial interaction on the 'Net?
 
#36
I hope this isn't offensive, but I think maybe you're a little too afraid of being offensive. Integrate your shadow and flip somebody the bird every now and then. ;)
How synchronous. Last night I had an awesome conversation with my best mate's g/f: we finally disagreed about stuff (vaccinations, intelligent design, etc) and spoke frankly and honestly to one another. Anyhow, one of the things she told me was to stop saying "sorry" so much. It simply isn't necessary, she told me. Kind of scary to wonder how deep this goes. Is it just a social adaptation that I've adopted because it (in my perhaps misguided view) smooths over interactions? Or do I really, at a deep psychological level, genuinely believe I should apologise for... well, myself?

Enjoyed the rest of your post, thanks for sharing your original musings!
 
#37
Anyhow, one of the things she told me was to stop saying "sorry" so much. It simply isn't necessary, she told me.
Ah a Canadian at heart. Hello, soul brother.

Please watch this Canadian orientation video, and remember that, while it's nice to be polite and apologetic, sometimes we need to pull one of these manoeuvres, among others, to remind everyone that we still mean business:

 
#38
I really like every time Alex asks anyone of any particular religion “what does yours bring to the table?” with the universal answer so far being “absolutely nothing” because all of them say the exact same thing at the end of the day. I liked the interview for the most part. There was a lot in there that I agreed with but me being me, I gotta point out some of the more ridiculous errors in reasoning.

Like all religions it appears hers is rife with contradictions. There's no truth but apparently we are responsible for things other than ourselves, we need to separate our needs from our wants, and my favourite, be happy with what you have and minimise your consumption. So there is a truth. No mention of who gets to decide any of this. I mean what if I decide that I "need" that big house, or that bag of chips, or that video game? Am I allowed to determine my own path to happiness or are certain paths just "bad"? And if there are some that are just bad, will action be taken to limit or remove bad elements from the society?

So standard collectivist propaganda. Alex was right to point out that it's the same stuff new-agers with an agenda say as well. Same as pretty much every religion ever actually. This is why the world is split into two classes. Collectivists on the bottom telling everyone to be collectivist, and individualists at the top telling everyone to be collectivist. And gee wouldn't you know it? The power hungry, cutthroat individualists are the ones ruling the world while the collectivists tell themselves to be happy with what they increasingly don't have and that problems can be solved by telling other people to be more compassionate and stop harshing their mellow. I wonder what that tells us about their respective “fruits” eh?

It's a phenomenon that's been going on for as long as people have existed, hell Aristotle talked about this. Get people to think their feelings and existence have any meaning, then tie that meaning to whatever it is that you, the intelligent individualist, want to achieve. Creating a morally good imperative that can justify any action.


This is why the only philosophies I can come close to agreeing with are existentialism, nihilsm and taoism. Because they're all about absolutely nothing. You're very unlikely to see a gang of black clad taoists beating people in the streets and calling them nazis. The existentialist might do it if they felt like it, and the nihilists would do it if it got them closer to their goals. But moral busybodies? They'll be lined up down the street for the chance to murder people in the name of peace and love.

James Corbett certainly noticed this double standard phenomenon:


Man those dastardly rich people really know their fruit don't they? It's almost like their way of doing things actually works.

Everything is sacred and everything has a right to thrive? Yeah, cool story, here's an orca torturing a seal for fun:


I'd say that either nothing is sacred, or that sacredness requires a double standard placing some things above everything else in existence.

It always seems like whenever people get into spirituality they think it gives them a license to rewrite reality even when they themselves know better because it's "the unknown." Suzanne Geisemann did it best with her “Oh I just don't go there” approach to evil, which I'm sure is currently saving the US government billions on all those expensive military upkeep costs.

And then there's my experience with the spirit world:

I wasn't claiming that there is a "they" in terms of a separarate person or group but rather that in teh case that there is/were a seperate person or group organizing and enacting such a plan then that person or group has an ability which could and certainly would be abused for personal gain.

That being said, my personal experience with the paranormal throughout this life suggests that this may be the case at least some of the time. It's a debate I've had over and over again with various spirits about the methods some of them claim to use. Namely the use of religion or at least religious sounding language and concepts to "teach" humans." My major dissagreement with this is that they're just lying and they know it. Thus I doubt their claims of being benevolent teachers who are only trying to help. Rather, that is just what they tell people as part of their manipulation, and I have a lot of reasons to believe this.

Some know and fully admit it's all bullshit and make a game out of whispering things to people, especially religious, gullible people, that they want to hear and manipulating those people into believing and doing things that can ruin their and other's lives. Knowing that there will be no consequences to them for such manipulation. Others seem to truly believe that teaching in this manner is neccessary and do have good intentions but can't see their own bigotry and narccissism. Their defense ultimately boils down to "well humans are really dumb and aren't capable of learning any other way" which isn't an argument but they usually aren't interested in talking much after I point that out. Some try to be more insidious about it and act as if they genuinely care but describe protocols and methods straight out of a cult leader handbook. Things such as putting a person in a religious life surrounded by other religious people, creating a "religious afterlife" that they enter when they die to confirm the religion they were brought up to believe during the previous life, rinse and repeat. Creating a closed loop of life experience that constantly confirms itself to the soul. Claiming that they close the person off from outside knowledge "until they're ready" which is of course decided by the people lying to the soul in the first place. And I'm sure there's absolutely no conflicts of interest, ulterior motives, or abuse whatsoever in that system... because they said so.

The idea being that if you put someone through enough loops then it doesn't really matter that they can't consciously remember everything about their past lives. They will always have an intuitive feeling of familiarity that still seeps through. The more loops confirming the same bias, the stronger the intuition about it, the more likely the person is to gravitate towards and accept the worldview during that life. I don't know if direct conscious memory would help or hinder such a system given the possibility of someone suspecting they're just being manipulated if given the time to look at the scenarios from an outside perspective. Perhaps feeling and of course, teaching people to trust their feelings, serves the manipulation better. I don't really know.

Things got violent for awhile between about 2010 - 2011 which taught me that things on the spirit plane can harm and kill things on the physical plane and vice versa. Although of course knowing how to defend yourself from such attacks is evil and teaching others how to defend themselves is dangerous and apocalyptic.... because they said so. It's likely the lion's share of the reason that someone or something tries to attack and/or shove me back in my body whenever I OOBE whether induced or not. Sometimes someone else will pull me out just to attack me although it's very rare these days and hasn't happened consistently for years.

The most frustrating thing about it is that I got hammered for months by spirits trying to pull all the religious bullshit on me when I first started consciously astral projecting until they eventually realized that I wasn't religious and thus wasn't a complete moron. So whenever anyone tries using the "humans are just dumb and can't understand" argument I ask them "well what about me?" to which they reply "well.... you're different" which isn't an argument. But of course, try telling them that.

The textbook example of this was in 2014, maybe around april or march or something, I don't remember, where a couple people induced a shared dream with me. One of them started introducing himself in very religious terms, I don't remember exactly what they said anymore. But they also spoke using a "upon high" tone. At least until his partner cut him off with a sharp "We don't need to do that with this one!" The other one paused, probably a little shocked and embarrassed, cleared his throat and started the introduction again. this time it was totally normal, I don't remember the wording verbatim anymore but it was essentially "Hi I'm Bob, and this is my supervisor Jim, and I know this all looks really real right now but it's actually just a big metaphor." To which I sarcastically thought to myself "Yes, thank you, I have been in a shared dream before."

It wasn't just the religious bullshit titles and terms, their tone had completely changed from talking down at me to talking to me like an equal. It represented the fundamental problem I have with their methods. They make themselves out to be something they're not, better than other people. somehow more important. It's not an equal exchange, humans are just these poor, dumb, weak little creatures who don't know any better and couldn't possibly fend for themselves whereas we're the smart, civilized, powerful people who must take on the heavy burden of enlightening these savages.

But nothing I say is ever going to make a difference because I'm not the one in control.

Many other spirits, namely those who are native to that plane, believe the stereotypes about humans, that humans are dumb. worship anything they don't understand or that has power, don't have magic, are inherently weak, etc, largely because they don't have much if any personal experioence with humans themselves and have no reason to question such stereotypes as a result. So, infuriatingly, I usually get mistaken for a native spirit when I project and meet someone new. Based solely on the fact that I am "not dumb" and "have magic." I don't blame them for it though because it's understandable. Especially when other humans do go up there and ask shit like "what spiritual level am I on?" like what Jurgen Ziewe said he did once during his Skeptiko interview. With the unsurprisnging response being a blank stare because of how ridiculous such a question sounds to some random dude who just lives there. Like walking into a Starbucks and asking the barista "Is this where God lives?"

I could go on but I've been rambling for far too long. I didn't realize how long this comment was getting. But I hope it's at least somewhat explanatory and not competely batshit insane. Although I'm not holding my breath on the second part.
Fun fact, I'm Canadian, I must not have the politeness gene or something.
 
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