Jason Louv, A Strange Mix of Scientism and Magick |385|

#22
"You're an idiot! Guy! Guy! Guy! For Christ sake . . ." His arrogance and poor character are what shines most brightly from this convo--defensiveness is the hallmark of an indoctrinated mind.

This guy is such a complete TOOL! He trusts the NASA website as GOD, I'd bet he hasn't done an ounce of research outside what the mainstream is dictating to him. He has to waste time calling names and getting his panties in a bunch without providing any data, yet dismisses Alex when he can't riffle off a couple names right off the cuff? I actually so appreciate this interview, am pretty enthused about it even, b/c it demonstrates to me how right I am, as much as that usually sucks more than feels good, in my experience.

Climate change (geoengineering), Moon landing/space (NASA), vaccinations--if any of y'all believe what you are hearing in the mainstream media, please, I really really hope you will look more deeply into these topics. Just read the opposition, that alone will fire up any natural skeptic, and even some hardcore believers I'd be willing to bet. If you want to know where to look, where I've looked, I'd be pleased to pass that along. I'm no expert on any of it, I can't answer your (legitimate, surely!) questions, but I can tell you where to look and research. If you come to different conclusions, that's fine too, I have no defensiveness on these issues anymore b/c I know if someone has no doubt the official stories are correct, they haven't looked, or they are not able/willing to see. I don't have the answers, not on any of it, but that means ALL questions are valid, the questions alone are what will inspire, and eventually, save us. If 'they' can get us to stop being curious, to stop questioning authority, to stop demanding tangible proof, they have won. And the reason Trump is dismissing science is 2-fold, at least. It works great for his Bible-thumping Christian southern base, who don't give a hoot about science anyway and love to argue and quote 'the great books' as much as the NDGT-pushers. Secondly, it riles up the atheists real nice too and then you can get a real social media war going on for all the technocrats to take another lesson in human programming.

What's most infuriating is he pretends to care about people and the future of civilization and that this is his motivation. I'm sure many reading are familiar with the fascinating book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. If you can't tell in 10 seconds of the start that Louv has 'shyster' written ALL over him, this is proof positive our sense of recognizing the warning signs in other's mannerisms, demeanor, etc., has declined over time, perhaps due to all the actors we surround ourselves with in media and politics. I used to have some blocks in this area of recognizing poor character and trusting my instincts and a bit of therapy and studying of psychology and sociology really helped me sharped this instinct again and I hope that will be the case for everyone. Discernment is of utmost importance in these times and will get more necessary in coming decades.

Thanks for reading, sorry I have been so intermittent lately on the site, it's just a stage I suspect, b/c I still really appreciate the show and comments here. :)
I really hope Jason Louv is reading this forum - just so he can read your reply!

David
 
#23
I first saw Jason Louv after clicking a link on disinfo.com for magick.me, a magick course he was selling. After looking into it for a moment, it was an immediate turn off, and triggered all kinds of alarms.
There was an introduction video with him sitting by the ocean drinking a glass of wine and talking about magick being his route to success, and then went on to talk about his books selling on Amazon for a lot of money. It seemed like he was going for the witchy self help crowd, like some kind of prosperity gospel for pagans. He promised wealth and treasures, but said little to nothing about transformation of the self. It was so gross.

Him selling wealth, charging money for the courses he didn't create (only curated), him being so rude... so incredibly rude to Alex on the podcast, him BEING A MATERIALIST, and just the general vibe the guy puts out, all point to man bound by flesh and in full pursuit of power, with no real spiritual life. It's certainly noone I would want to listen to as any kind of spiritual teacher. I feel that Magician/Materialist is such an obvious contradiction; like a nonviolent MMA fighter, or a vegan/butcher. I believe ultimately thatJason is a charlatan trying to make a buck that doesn't even fully buy the bs he's selling.
 
#24
Evolution, consciousness, vaccines, climate change, jfk, cancer treatment, homeopathy, moon landings, 9/11, cattle mutilations, pizzagate, allopathic medicine, magic etc, etc...

I have to say I admire the sheer chutzpah of a community that is prepared to take the anti-establishment, anti-expert consensus view on everything, and then react without any humility or understanding when they stumble across a person who doesn’t see the world that way.

Make no mistake, Louv was a bit of a dick, but either the world is totally arse-about-face, or certain individuals need to examine how they invariably end up at the controversial fringe position, unsupported by the experts in their field.

I suspect it feels very empowering to out-smart the experts in their field, and we all like to feel we have a special insight, but how often can laymen do that successfully and consistently? How do we formulate critical thinking skills, in a world where “evidence” is but a click away for anything (see flat earth) yet there is no voice given to authorities or expert consensus. Taking the fringe position is likely to be more often ‘wrong’ than ‘right’... and can occasionally be downright dangerous:

https://theness.com/neurologicablog...-alternative-medicine-twice-as-likely-to-die/

I’m not saying anyone here is wrong about anything in particular, but they’re very unlikely to be right about everything. A little humility, an acknowledgment that you might have the wrong end of the stick, and an exploration of how others have arrived at their conclusions will be more enlightening, and is simply better manners.
 
#25
I have to say I admire the sheer chutzpah of a community that is prepared to take the anti-establishment, anti-expert consensus view on everything, and then react without any humility or understanding when they stumble across a person who doesn’t see the world that way.
I think asking questions about how Louv is able to maintain a materialistic world view while believing in magic is fair given the fact that he makes his living selling books about magic and tries to give the impression that magic is real to him. It seems far more likely that he is a materialist who does not believe in magic, but believes that the terminology of "magic" will help him sell books to people he thinks are credulous enough to buy anything.

I think what people are reacting to is Louv's obvious contempt for the people who buy his books and listen to his ideas. His attitude makes sense if he is a Steve Novella fan. It wouldn't make sense if he actually believed in magic. Let's face it, Malf, even you picked up on the fact that he comes across as a "dick".
 
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#26
Evolution, consciousness, vaccines, climate change, jfk, cancer treatment, homeopathy, moon landings, 9/11, cattle mutilations, pizzagate, allopathic medicine, magic etc, etc...

I have to say I admire the sheer chutzpah of a community that is prepared to take the anti-establishment, anti-expert consensus view on everything, and then react without any humility or understanding when they stumble across a person who doesn’t see the world that way.
Oh dear. Give a long list of controversial topics and indicate there are many more. Then not-so-subtly imply that most every contributor here supports the contrarian position on all of them. Finally, criticise said contributors for hubris whilst characterising consensualists as the downtrodden minority. Aw, poor liddle diddle bunny wabbits...
 
#27
I suspect it feels very empowering to out-smart the experts in their field, and we all like to feel we have a special insight, but how often can laymen do that successfully and consistently? How do we formulate critical thinking skills, in a world where “evidence” is but a click away for anything (see flat earth) yet there is no voice given to authorities or expert consensus. Taking the fringe position is likely to be more often ‘wrong’ than ‘right’... and can occasionally be downright dangerous:
That sounds all well and good provided that you assume that scientific institutions are totally focused on the truth - which is what they say they are.

That is a bit like claiming that politicians are totally focused on doing the best for those they represent, or claiming that the police never become corrupt - anywhere in the world. Do you go into an electronics store and listen to the assistant (who undoubtedly knows more about a range of gadgets than you do) and assume they are totally focused on helping you to select the best product for your needs?

Most people have a view on politics, and a whole range of things, but fewer people feel confident to question scientists - so it might not be too surprising to find that they get away with more self-serving distortions than other groups.

Perhaps the most amazing item on your list is 'consciousness'. Amazing because this is an area where science is particularly, and openly conflicted. You can read 'scientific' claims that:

Consciousness doesn't exist.

Consciousness is an illusion.

Consciousness is an epi-phenomenon of the brain.

NDE's are an illusion.

NDE's are created after a cardiac arrest is over.

I don't quite know what the orthodox position is on terminal lucidity, but I am sure there is an equally vague 'explanation'.

Taken together, can't you see that they are seriously stumped? There is nothing wrong with science being stumped, but what I object to is that fact that id dismisses a whole load of evidence that might explain consciousness. I would call that a corruption (or at least ossification) of conventional science.

Just to take one other example, if a 'scientist' told you (as they used to do) that the earth was warming by a trivial amount (0.8C since 1880) because of the bounce-back from the last ice age, you would probably accept that concept as plausible, and of no possible concern to you. Indeed you might be pleased to learn that we are still on the rebound from the last glaciation because clearly the next glaciation will be incredibly dangerous to Earth's large population. However, because now someone re-attributes that trivial 0.8C temperature rise to CO2 (based on a computer model) you think (I assume) that we are facing a global climate emergency. You don't even begin to factor in some other information into your consideration:

Organisations such as NASA get lots of money to study climate change. Don't you think that affects their views. Do you really think NASA is totally focused on the truth, despite the huge sums of money it gets? Do you really think that all the low carbon schemes are set up by people totally focused on the health of the planet, or does it even enter your head that the health of their bank account (or political career) might come first?

I mean all you really need to do, is look at the politics and money flows around the subjects you listed, to get some idea that the science might not be totally honest.
Another thing you might factor into your calculation, is that not all scientists agree about climate change - particularly retired ones - wouldn't you expect whistle blowers when something is corrupt?

There are a long list of scientific whistle blowers, and response of the mainstream is to ignore them as far as possible, or in the case of Halton Arp, try to deny him telescope time). Wouldn't you expect an honest science establishment to be particularly concerned to study the views of (generally very senior) whistle blowers from their own community - just to ensure the majority view wasn't mistaken?

David
 
#28
I think Laird nailed the source of confusion - "Also, I'm not sure whether Alex and I are on the same page here, but I disagree with Jason's stark dichotomy of "science = objective; magic = subjective". After all, the basis of parapsychology is that "magic" can be studied scientifically and objectively."

Any attempt to shoehorn magic/spirituality/psi into a category materialists call 'subjectivity' will confuse those who don't 'get' the intent of that category. Subjectivity can be legitimated as a dimension of human experience that remains, nevertheless, tethered to the biological as an epiphenomenal component. It is possible simply to assert this to be the case and hence anything can be pooled into the subjective category and validated in a highly conditional way.

So this is looking at the human experience from a materialistic perspective and allowing all the woo stuff as valid because humans experience them (an indisputable thing). So the experience of engaging with angels can be validated as subjective experience. The angels do not have 'objective' existence - but they still play a role in the formation of human meaning. It can all sound very plausible and reasonable - and from a materialistic perspective even quite radical.

But the advocates of this approach never drill down for deeper meaning because they commence with a shared assumption - the subjective has no objective existence (well, obviously). Once the limits of valid thought are laid down and agreed upon the ground of truth is established. All subsequent argument will be valid (compliant with the rules) or non-valid (non-compliant). Hence arguing that the objective/subjective dichotomy is silly is simply considered non-valid (non-compliant). There is no point having a rational debate with a person whose views are invalid.

Louv can thus explore Dee in comfort, because he has a theory set out before he starts. He can use language we are familiar with, but apply his rules to the meaning. The goal is to entrap a reader into buying the objective/subjective proposition - which is bullshit. Without going into detail what the objective/subjective thing is about is mostly impersonal/personal that is tarted up as rational/emotional, but is frequently used to undermine the rational/intuitive tension.

Objective equals - real, rational, reasoned, impersonal, impartial, fact-based, informed etc - masculine mentality
Subjective equals - personal, emotional, imagined, ignorant, gullible, uninformed etc - and it is historically applied to women and children - especially when the seek to report abuse by males. It is rarely dignified as intuitive or psychic or mystical, save in an implied pejorative manner.

For me a far more functional model is physical/metaphysical. Here the familiar 'objects' are physical - so there is an 'objective' reality, which is our familiar physical reality. The corresponding 'subjective' relates to states or conditions of consciousness that can appear to function in a manner inconsistent with physical rules - and that includes anything that seems to violate rules of reality established by supposedly rational argument. We can use 'reason' to 'explain' a thing in a way that induces an audience to believe that the explanation has something to do with truth and reality. Materialists are fond of this tactic - as are liars and the corrupt.

One of my favourite cartoons is from an 1970s edition of the now (and mercifully) defunct magazine called The Australian Post. In it a man is caught in bed with a woman in a hotel room as the door bursts open to reveal a woman with a thunderous demeanour and a bloke with a camera in the act of snapping the two in bed. The man in the bed clutches bedclothes to hide his shame, exposing the woman, and cries out "But honey! I can explain!" Even in the philosophical naiveté of my youth I was entranced by the rush to reason as a defence against a flagrant offence.

Explanations do not make reality. This is something materialists do not understand. Their defence against real reality is the fiction of their intellects crafted in the conceit that explanations are sufficient to describe reality. But they are not the equal of Tolstoy or Dickens, and what they serve up lacks that essential intuitive feel of spiritual character.

Louv fancies himself inordinately, but without his materialistic mates to egg him on he is, I think, a lightweight. I see no depth, no maturity, no wisdom. He thinks claiming he has been into magic (as he defines it) 20 years should be impressive. Maybe it is to some, but it is a scant introduction to an apprenticeship.

Louv is smart enough to have come up with a notion he thinks is an intellectual thermo nuke. That tells me what he has in reality is a firecracker that may impress the innocent.

These days there are a lot of people writing books they really should not write, or at least publish. Louv says he started in magic in 2002 and had his first book out 3 years later. That's just cocky and cheeky - and rubbish.

To avoid being confused by Louv, don't take him seriously. Yes, he says things that seem rational and reasonable - until you dig deeper. To me he is either a pawn or an active misinformation agent - part of the 'fake news' he claims to be so appalled by.
 
#29
The conflict between might have been overblown, but not invented. It seems to boil down to Jason granting less credence to the role of conspiracies in shaping the world, more credence to the positive impact of mainstream science on our world, and more credibility ("cosying up") to mainstream skeptics given these two tendencies.
I am not inclined to call all the problems in science 'conspiracy'.

I think science likes to see itself as being immune to all the problems that invade other subjects such as psychiatry, or music, or literature. The trouble is science is far more squishy than it likes to believe it is. So for example, it shuns the evidence that obviously clashes with its core paradigm - such as positive parapsychology findings. I don't think the majority of those who do that think they are conspiring to do anything - they probably assume the excluded research was faulty somehow - despite it being peer reviewed. However in doing this, they overlook the problem that peer review really doesn't work very well.

This is backed up by far more cynical individuals such as Richard Wiseman, who deliberately misrepresented Sheldrake's research on dogs, and falsely claimed to have debunked it.

Then there areas which probably make many scientists intensely uncomfortable - for example the medical diet advice that seems totally contrarian. They don't know what to do, because when the truth becomes widely understood a huge scandal will erupt. This gets ever closer as people with T2 diabetes report huge improvements by reversing the standard diet advice of low fat high carbs, to high fat low carbs. These patients joined by a variety of senior clinicians such as the cardiologist Dr Assem Malhotra (to name but one):
https://www.dietdoctor.com/unconventional-cardiologist-promotes-high-fat-diet

This situation might I suppose be called a conspiracy to cover up the truth, but clearly none of the key players wanted to find themselves supporting a completely wrong set of advice.

The core problem is that in most sciences the process of research is a far from logical process. Perhaps the most logical area of science should have been the field that develops equations that purport to describe the very foundations of physics. Yet even here, squishiness seems to have broken out! After many years of research that all but eliminated alternative lines of approach (because they gobbled the bulk of the grant money), they have ended up with string theory, which is so complex that only the mathematical elite have a chance of understanding. Yet these equations make no testable predictions and seem to have vast numbers of variants. Not only that, but they operate in ten dimensions (9 plus time) not the four that we observe.

I don't think it makes sense to try to understand the relationship between science and ψ without appreciating at least some of the mess that science finds itself. Nor do I think the word 'conspiracy' does justice to the muddle.

David
 
#30
ultimately thatJason is a charlatan trying to make a buck that doesn't even fully buy the bs he's selling.
Interesting, perhaps you read my mind at 3 or so in the am?! I started to question the whole show so much that I wondered if Alex too had played up his part to make it that much more 'titillating' if that's even in the ballpark?! I do appreciate when Alex 'tips his hand' as he has ventured to reveal to others in some interviews. I stick on one occasion here, where Alex is asked what variety of yoga he practices--the convo went downhill from there, especially. I don't play chess, but I get that was a move.

for better or worse?! :)
 
#31
This was a great interview because I tend to get tired of ass-kissing (not that I think Alex does that - he's been using more vinegar than honey lately which I love)

But overall if anyone here has subtly caught it-- Alex is getting sick of using the same goddamn pointers for people mildly to moderately enlightened. It goes something like this:

1. Materialism brain=mind=body=death=robot is a waste. If one cannot agree on that point, they're stuck in the mud, which is fine, just try not to fuck over school age children with such rubbish since they're the future. For a hardcore POV, consider the very few rare but real "veridical experiences" best through ER's in hospitals (which I work at) where the guy dies, 5 min passes on measured flatline, an event happens provably in those 5 minutes where he's dead as a doornail after flatlining >3 min and then he's amazingly resuscitated and recalls the car accident that just happened in the hospital parking lot, etc. (rare but there's a few). Focus more on these examples to STFU materialist folks as this is what scares the shit out of guys like Steve Novella and Sam Harris.

2. Religion is old. Freud and Marx and other greats were right in that it had a point (a long time ago) but let's graduate to Spirituality, Third Eye and Enlightenment and put down religious texts for now -- we've examined them enough and we get the golden rule they share - "treat other's how you want to be treated".

3. Afterlife / Spiritual realm is tricky but real but again tricky. Our "science" will always be limited in exploring it. Shamanism still wins the award for mapping out "land of the dead", Tibetan Shamanism particularly. But even that will be filled with errors and misconceptions. The best scientific evidence to prove this as far as I can see is actually not Shamanism studied though.. it's the 5% of real psychics out there and Dr. Julie Beischels is the mastermind, to Alex's credit, he's put in the spotlight to show that. Anyone who understands hard empiric randomized double blind research will GREATLY appreciate her work and proof of "spirit communication". Period.

4. This point is a gift to Alex's next listener if they're reading: No more talk about "whatever works" like it's a snowflake fest and some meditate in the corner this way and others go hiking and others lucid dream and other's take LSD.... at the end of the day, figure out what REALLY works for the MAJORITY of people too old for religion and ready to pursue Enlightenment. There's lots of pathways but we should cut the 'nice guy' bullshit and just start figuring out what works for most. I grew up doing Kenpo Karate and while I loved it, I have to admit, Krav Maga style is hardcore and a pretty guaranteed way towards learning no-nonsense self-defense for 95% of folks out there. It's not the only thing, but it's statistically the BEST thing for most. So, what is third eye meditation enlightenment's "Krav Maga"... that's the Easter egg Alex is after. And finally he's stopped beating around the bush and just started asking point blank.

5. This part though, Alex may frown upon and it's my curveball. And we all need to put on our big-boy pants and not get pissy about: science IS amazing in terms of technology, especially MEDICAL technology -- vaccines DO save millions in third world countries. Yes some vaccines can be ineffective or not truly required (i.e. flu vaccine) but Polio..... come on folks, you all know better than that. Or penicillin? How many babies I've taken care of in shitty third world countries would be in the ground dead if my team didn't have penicillin on hand. Of course the West over-medicates the idiot population, of course. But that can't take away from life-saving science.

And we need to stop wasting precious time about how real global-warming / climate change is or not -- maybe just accept pathways towards a world with less carbon,. smog, cancer-based chemicals, water droughts that led to genocides like Darfur and many more .... Why bitch and moan over what we call it? Of course Hollywood and media elites are liberal left-leaning but who the fuck cares? I'm sure Alex will agree, a world with less smog and factories giving little kids asthma across over-populated Asia, is not a bad thing. He just doesn't like people throwing him under the bus with their BS statistics of "NASA" namedrops... but I expect Alex to rise above that. You're a yogi man, you want clear ocean, green grass and blue skies? Why can't we fight for that even if baited by far-left (or far-right) depending in the issue.

It's like they say, the devil's in the details.
Penicillin-cured babies, inventions like electricity and internet, and polio vaccine = GOOD

Modern dominant Western atheism & pure materialism = BAD

Both can co-exist. Some conspiracies are real, some found to be bullshit. Okay. It's okay.

Alex keep going man, but keep using vinegar because you'll find the "Krav Maga" secrets of best-led Spirituality and Path to Enlightenment much faster.

Don't be a snowflake and don't let other's be a snowflake. "Assertive" blows away "push-over" any-day.
 
#32
And we need to stop wasting precious time about how real global-warming / climate change is or not -- maybe just accept pathways towards a world with less carbon
Why on earth do we need a world with less "carbon"? By that, I assume you mean carbon dioxide. You know, that stuff that's plant food and is currently at ridiculously low levels compared with past epochs: in fact, the very modest increase in carbon dioxide due to human activity is being greedily sucked up by vegetation leading to noticeable surface greening and oceanic algae growth.

Smog's noxiousness has nothing to do with CO2: it's due to sulphur and nitrogen oxides, ozone and particulate matter from combustion. It used to be really bad back in the 50's and 60's in Britain, but I haven't seen it anywhere here for donkey's years. It's bad in countries where air pollution controls aren't too good.

I disagree strongly with the notion that we need less "carbon" if by that you mean CO2; and the fact that you use the term may indicate that you've been befuddled by alarmist CAGW rhetoric, which if you have, is exactly what they want.

We emphatically aren't wasting time banging away at this issue, because billions is being wasted on it when it could be being spent on real pollution issues, which include: smog and river/ocean pollution; planting biofuel plants in cleared areas of the Amazonian rainforest and elsewhere, which is a disaster (even arch CAGW armageddonist Al Gore admitted biofuels were a big mistake); and stuff like that, not a little of it being caused by stupid policies based on the absurd notion that CO2 is the cause of all man's ills.
 
#35
I am not inclined to call all the problems in science 'conspiracy'.

I think science likes to see itself as being immune to all the problems that invade other subjects such as psychiatry, or music, or literature. The trouble is science is far more squishy than it likes to believe it is. So for example, it shuns the evidence that obviously clashes with its core paradigm - such as positive parapsychology findings. I don't think the majority of those who do that think they are conspiring to do anything - they probably assume the excluded research was faulty somehow - despite it being peer reviewed. However in doing this, they overlook the problem that peer review really doesn't work very well.
I am more sympathetic with Laird on the point of science and conspiracy for the simple reason that there does seem to be a dominant culture in science that is flatly materialistic, and which actively participates in resisting progress in thinking in line with evidence. The problem is, however, that what we call 'science' is sometimes a culture and sometimes a community of inquiry, and the adherents to the materialistic culture will speak of 'science' as though it means a community of inquiry - thus misrepresenting their position.

Another problem is that 'science' is also locked into a dependency on political (defence especially) or commercial funds - and the political and commercial interests much prefer the materialist model of human reality. When you consider that recent figures say atheists in the USA are around 4% you have to ask how such a small number of people can exert such a degree of influence over one of the key areas of human inquiry. Even if you want to dispute that figure (I have not verified it) we are still dealing with a significant minority exerting critical influence over a majority. Scientists are no different from the rest of us. Exposure to science does not dispose a person to materialism or atheism. It may induce agnosticism or SBNR affiliation. There are plenty of scientists who are deeply religious. Any notion that contemporary science is inherently materialistic misleads

Materialism enables moral relativism, immorality and self-interest more readily than other ways of thinking. It is suited to political and commercial pragmatism. When we understand that 'science' has been substantially captured by these interests we can begin to see how it becomes part of the familiar political and commercial conspiracies.

The word science is derived from a word that really means knowledge of any kind. What we now call science was once called natural philosophy. Now science seems to have become specialised form of knowledge seeking that is predominantly materialistic in orientation. There is no implicit reason for excluding parapsychology, NDEs or magic. It is all about dogma and power (political and commercial). These days, if we talk about a 'scientist' we usually mean somebody who has tertiary qualifications in materialistic areas of inquiry. Other fields of inquiry that have sought to be covered by the imagined dignity of being called a 'science' have emulated materialistic study - which is why economics is so fucked up. (I have a Master of Applied Science and a Masters Honours science degree in Social Ecology - definitely not a 'proper' science)

If we are not fans of materialism we need to stop ceding intellectual and moral ground to materialists by buying their definition of science. Materialism has ripped the guts out of the noble human quest for deeper understanding and given us an intellectual and moral cripple as a hero.

Louv insists that science is the highest human attainment. No. What he means is that materialistic science is the highest for of human attainment in seeking knowledge. BS!

Quick history lesson. Humans discovered glass when sand was melted by fires. Experimentation with glass (long before the idea of science as we know it was invented) led, eventually, to the development of the lens - which gave us microscopes and telescopes. The mysteries of the physical world being unlocked now are down to silicon. We have lenses because of the inquiry and experimentation of what are essential 'pre-scientific' men. These men were religious, mystical, spiritual, magical and philosophical. In fact even in the modern era few of those who made great scientific discoveries were atheists or materialists. And few discoveries were actually the fruit of a single line of entirely rational inquiry.

Louv mentioned Penicillin - pure accident. Watson and Crick are celebrated as the discovers of DNA, but the actual history is more complex than that.

The Enlightenment conceit that gave us 'science' as we know it had to turn psyche as soul into psyche as mind to do so. That blotted out the function of interplay between the ephemeral mind of a human in physical expression and the deeper soul, and so we end up with the idiot fiction that we think by intellect alone - the 'mind' by itself.

Louv's assertion that 'science' evolved from a mystical tradition is kind of on the money - but one might also, and more accurately, say it was derailed and distorted and captured. The idea of evolution is about both adaptation and aspiration - which is muddled and something Darwinians like to take advantage of. Darwin dealt with adaptation to environmental change and intentional breeding of desired characteristics. Our idea of science evolved in response to an emerging culture of technological change. The scientist ceased to be a philosopher and became a technician who was 'liberated' from moral and philosophical concerns by political and commercial interests.

Louv's science is a cripple (and please, I am using this term in the formal meaning, not the pejorative social context - in any case as a person with a significant disability I can claim the right to use the word even if you do not feel comfortable). It is lopsided and deformed. It is also a fiction that materialists like to try to foist on us as reality. Don't buy it.

The Egyptians are considered the most religious of people, and yet they gave us the most enigmatic and perfect constructions - and they apparently did that without lenses or computers. What we know is down to what the Egyptians apparently started - making glass. If we divide our understanding of human history into pre and post lens periods while the post lens period is spectacular the pre lens attainments should knock our socks off.

Contemporary material science is not the apex of human development - not by a long shot. That is not to diminish it, just put it in perspective. Here's something to remember - while contemporary technology gives us immense capacity to do stuff very little of what we do is down to particular skill or capacity on a personal level. Read a nice little book called Anthropology if you can find it. In one sense we are diminished as individuals by our 'development' and 'evolution'. We are not stronger than our ancestors, nor fitter. We are not as manually skilled. We do not have better memories. In fact we are slaves to, or captives of, a technology that gives us what we want without making us better for having it.

Louv knows shit as a futurologist and as a magician in my opinion. He is not, I think, qualified to write books or give courses, on magic. What we need to remember is that the poison that takes us out is a very small portion of what we take. The issue isn't whether Louv has anything useful to say on magic, but whether his overall message is toxic or not. Its not the 95% of seemingly rational argument that is the issue, but the 5% of manipulation that is dangerous.

My message is; Avoid Louv. Don't read him unless you are well grounded in the subject area he deals with, and have the wherewithal to know the difference between a fair comment and manipulative bullshit. There are better and safer options.
 
#36
My message is; Avoid Louv. Don't read him unless you are well grounded in the subject area he deals with, and have the wherewithal to know the difference between a fair comment and manipulative bullshit. There are better and safer options
Can you suggest a book for beginners that covers magic/the occult from a more scientific perspective?

David
 
#37
Don't be a snowflake and don't let other's be a snowflake. "Assertive" blows away "push-over" any-day.
I like this attitude and think we most definitely need to see more of it in our current cultural climate. But most folks I know say the world is already too violent and chaotic and the answer is more docility and passivity.

Your medical technology point is too broad, penicillin is a very far cry from a 30+ vaccine schedule for infants. And science didn't really 'discover' anything there, I do believe they just isolated something already present in nature. That is not the case today, we've been artificially creating all kinds of nonsense with very adverse affects. And polio is one of the big propaganda pieces that first pushed vaccines on the population to begin with. Here's an interesting video that discusses a fuller version of the story and while I haven't vetted his sources they seem legit and as I've also spent many sad hours watching parents' stories on VaxxedTV on YT, I cannot just blindly applaud medical science/technology, especially with all the current craze around nano-tech in our foods and medicines which has not been tested or even openly debated in public, just pushed on us like cattle.

 
#39
Can you suggest a book for beginners that covers magic/the occult from a more scientific perspective?

David
Well, I've been trying to read Radin's "Real Magic" all summer now and can get only half-way through so far, which is on this very subject it seems, but it's duller than dirt. In fact, it's dirt that's been keeping me away from the book! :)
 
#40
Can you suggest a book for beginners that covers magic/the occult from a more scientific perspective?

David
The short answer is no.

The long answer is there is no one magic pill/book. I would listen to past Skeptiko shows (best place for beginners) and selectively read. The metaphysical dimension has been established as a feasible, if not necessary, adjunct to the physical. In effect that is all material science can do. And even so it is unpopular to affirm that reality continues on the other side of the wall of dogma and bs.

But nowhere do I see anybody knitting the data together in a way that renders the metaphysical comprehensible using contemporary language. This is because that is a monstrously difficult job, given our almost cemented orientation toward a materialist worldview. Even most spiritual or religious people are still squarely materialistic in their thought most of the time.

One of my laments on this forum was that we seem to be fighting battles that are already one and unable to move to the next stage of integrating the implications of those victories. It is very hard to go to the next stage.

Books on magic tend to fall back on old ways of thinking, and the one writer who seems to have something useful to say in a way that straddles the old and the present is Gordon White – and even so he is a work in progress – and perhaps that is the most valuable thing -evolution of thought rather than posing as an expert who has gotten to where he/she wants to be. Gordon, incidentally, observed that people seem to be using the term ‘chaos magic’ in ways that are very different. I think Alex should have Gordon on the show to talk specifically about the growing popularity of magic – and what is chaos magic v magic in a more general sense.

There are books that break open our thinking by bashing our minds repeatedly with ideas that unsettle us. But they are never high profile, because their contents are so hard to confront without flinching. They are not best sellers.

When I was 16 I read Paul Brenton’s Hidden Teachings Beyond Yoga. It took me 18 months to read it because I kept zoning out (falling asleep) after even a paragraph. We don’t learn by data alone but how we assimilate it, so our present passion for quick inputs leaves us wanting. I think we need to go through a disruptive trauma of becoming detached from our enculturated habits of thought and belief - repeatedly.

I think more and more bullshit is being written about magic. And maybe we should move on? It’s an old word now. The fact that it is now almost respectable means more and more opinions and idiot theories will appear. Those who really care aren’t attached to word, while those jumping on the bandwagon don’t have anything else but the word and facile assumptions about it.

For me the real struggle is breaking out of the materialist mindset and developing a secular language that treats the metaphysical as natural and normal - demystifying it and demysticalising it.

Contemporary sources I have an affinity for are Robert Monroe’s books (which I prefer to listen to – the last being Ultimate Journey) and Frank DeMarco’s works. Frank is associated with the Monroe Institute - but I presently have no connection with the institute - but am contemplating it.

This material is hard. It challenges my assumptions and habits of thought. It would be easy to dismiss it as stuff I don’t agree with - and ergo not useful.

This is a contemporary trap. Sticking with what we like and agree with does not bring growth. If we are not intentionally challenging ourselves we will not grow. In the same way getting physically fit and strong demands contending with resistance and pushing ourselves, getting to be metaphysically fit takes a similar struggle – in fact nothing worthwhile seems to be free of some kind of struggle.

I read the works of leading materialistic and atheistic thinkers to a sufficient degree as to understand their position, even though I disagreed from the outset. I was looking for clues my thinking was overly biased and sloppy and found a lot. I discovered how like them I was. That was a worry.

I won’t suggest what to read. I will say what I have read - and did so in one of my earlier blog posts. What I will suggest is to seek out material that challenges and maybe confronts your POV - and spirit will take care of the rest. This is important – we all learn with the aid of spirit – but mostly we are not conscious of it. We may eventually be able to have a shared secular conversation that validates the metaphysical and the magical.

BTW I don’t recommend Brunton now - but also don’t say don’t read him. His works are in a style that contemporary readers may struggle with unless they have strong reading habits and groove on retro. Arthur Edward White is another now dated source but which remain, in my view, as an iconic attempt to disrupt materialist thought in the 1920s - 1950s. There are others too - the content is hard enough, so style can be an impediment too far. Hardier readers may endure and be rewarded. In essence you have to go looking for what you want and expect to find pieces of the puzzle all over the place.
 
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