Robert Sapolsky on Life and Free Will, interviewed by Pau Gu

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16 Sep 2018, 3:57 pm

Ten minute slice of an interview from a couple months ago talking about the issue of free will, sociology and accountability. I notice that he seems to have a lot of the reservations that people like Dennett and Shermer have about telling people they have no free will and how even if they were well behaved it leads to nihilism.

His last comment was about pain at least pointing at something that could function as a stand-in teleology (enter Sam Harris's moral landscape) but I think you actually can go a step further and say it this way. You are the universe doing, or the universe becoming. That could have loads of value and meaning or none, all depending. There's no proper disjunct between yourself and cosmos aside from the exact point of perspective, really the body you wake up in every morning, that you're pressed into service to. You have to then look to your own intuitions as what the universe is trying to do via your own vehicle. It's not entirely easy because people will have antisocial urges and they technically could take free reign with those desires if they took some idea of cosmic or divine agency too advantageously but the key is figuring out where those fit in, how to sublimate them positively, etc..

I guess in some ways that reminds me that liberal democracy probably is about as good a system as we're going to get, just that it takes us staying in good enough humor to keep it.


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17 Sep 2018, 4:53 pm

I guess if people could find a good way to mediate that wether one has free will or not is as irrelevant as divine providence or fate, as long as you don't have the ability to know what you want/god decided for you/ ýour fate.

I mean: the assumption of "no-free-will" is that your brain decides for you, and your conscious experience is merely the experience of having chosen what to do. Fair enough.
But here's my example: maybe my brain(god/fate) decided to quit smoking, cold turkey, today. now. How could I, who only experiences what my brain choses, know?

if I can however figure out what my brain decides on, before it acts on it, I could veto - then I'm not merely experiencing things, because that would give me a feeling of dissociation from my body which I simply am, on a day-to-day basis, not experiencing.

in other words: if I feel like I have free will, I have free will - because I don't know what my brain has decided on.
If I feel like I don't have free will, I still have a veto right over my brain - or experience a possibly traumatic split between what I'm thinking (deciding on) and what I see my body acting out.
It's called dissociation, and is a spectrum - from daydreaming to multiple personality disorder - in case of the latter, it isn't even me experiencing things.
But that's my point: dissociation, or not having the experience of being in charge/things being real, is on a spectrum to severe psychological disorder.

.... can you point me to the likely flaw in my argument?


second:
Sapolsky is seems to be quite apprehensive about the "people are just biological machines" to become a widespread wordlview. Which is funny, considering that was what got people so wnraged about Darwin _ that humans are animals - and animals are "beast-machines", who have no soul, no puprose, no history. They seem to be doing fine, though.
Anyway, so in the 19th century, people fled into all sorts of ideologies to prove that mankind had some sort of goal.
And now, we are faced with this issue again.
(I read John Gray's "straw dogs", which makes this argument, basically. He suggests taking a look at Asian philosophy where there's not this -ultimately christian idea - of slavation/paradise/purpose, like Daoism, to learn how to live with the flow of the universe. )


on another note:
I like that Sapolsky is staying a neuroendocrinologist, looking at the world through this frame, and not trying to revolutionize moral philosophy without having any education in that field. unlike Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson etc.


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17 Sep 2018, 5:47 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxHnRfhDmrk

When it comes to Robert Sapolsky and Sam Harris on issues of Free Will and in the
Case of Sapolsky's Belief that there is no Inherent Meaning and Purpose in the Universe as Whole,
I realize he has many Higher Levels of Degrees/Accolades than me but Perhaps he Hasn't Yet gone to the University
of Hell for 66 Months and Graduated into Heaven with no need For Sam Harris Mushrooms or other Carl Sagan Substances
to Alter Consciousness in Mindful/Body Fuller Awareness in Regulation of Emotions and Integration of Senses either in a 10K Mile, 5 Year University of Public Free Dance with no Instructions or Guidelines at all. Anyway that and the continuing Work on a 6 Million Word Longest Long Form Poem are my Credentials that do not rely on Any Social Rules in Guidelines or How to Instructions other than what I do with my own Measure of Relative Free Will that I continue to Earn in Terms of
Blood, Sweat, and Tears as we all do when we come out of the Boxes that Culture Pre-Programs us to do and be.
We are the UniVerse at Literal Hands and Eyes and Ears and Feet in a 'Cosmos' unto ourselves as we are
literally and metaphorically the 'Cosmos' Unto 'It' 'Self' too at Least as Science Currently Illustrates well
in Terms of Systemizing Science that works. It's Nice to Find the Mind and Body Hacks that work
in Social-Cooperation with others too as not only do we have Relative Free Will as Individuals;
We also Enjoy Relative Free Will as Very Large Groups and Progress in our Abilities to find
our own Unique Meanings and Purposes of Life while enjoying the Traditional Meanings
And Purposes in Feelings and Senses of Holy and Sacred that will Even Bring Tears
of 'Spirit' in a Real Divine Feeling and Sense of Life if Entertained Deeply enough
as we come 'Programmed' to do this too; however, with the appropriate
Mind and Body Hacks we will come to Experience even more Divine
Experiences of Feeling and Sensing Life, if We find ways to Program
Ourselves and Help 'the Group' do this too. It Doesn't Matter 'really' how many Science
Tests say that we are ruled By Biology/Feelings/Senses More than Word Think for obviously this is True
Obviously too as Eastern Philosophies have Talked to for Centuries the Reality we 'See' is one we co-create
to be now Basically Hallucinating it as we go based on the Experiences we individually and as Groups Share and
Give Together and alone too in Relative Terms of our Connections to Nature Whole too. And this is really Great for
if we all had to currently Rely on Word Think to get every thing We Do in Life Done with Full Free Will with no conscious
Activity of Programming Changes now for the Future more based on our Past Experiences, we would have been eaten
by 'the Lion' and 'the Snake', Long Before We Consciously in Word Think Figured out each and every move always anew
to Do to Save
Our Human Skins
from the Lion Eat and Snake Swallow of our 'Hides', too.
Some Folks Have more Common Sense and Feel about Life
and some Folks Learn a Rationality through Bio-Feed back in Ways
of Still and Moving Meditation to even Control Heart Rate, Body Temperature,
Brain Waves, and even the Release of Beneficial Neuro-Chemicals and Neuro-Hormones
with the Flip of a Wrist and Two Fingers together as 'the Body Keeps Score'; and yes there
is a Book about that too from an Author and MD who moved a ways out of just Material Reductionism
in Basically which comes First the Dance or the Song; As above so below, within outside inside, and all around
The Dance Comes First and the Song comes Next in ways of Moving and Sound Waves too. And in Turn the Song
of Life Inspires the Dance as the Cosmos as a Bigger Snake Consumes itself in a Never Ending Dance and Song now
in Return that we may join in or Stagnant and sit still. To Dance or Not to Dance is A First Question my Friend and those
Who Hear
A Call
Join
in and
Make Happy
And Joy a Life of
Art fuller and fuller of
Meaning and Purpose in Holy
And Sacred Feelings/Senses of Life for We
Are literally and metaphorically the Universe
And True some of us Co-Create more Care for all that is
And More Holy And Sacred Meaning and Purpose that really Feels/Senses
Good Holding
Hands
even
in Church
now with no Regard
Really to Necessarily any
Words Said or the Lyrics of
Songs too for it is the Music that will Move the Dance most
and it is the Hands Holding Together that Make Love and Life Worth Living Now
as Love Most for those who Do Enjoy that; particularly coming out of Places like Hell
Now on Earth where there literally and metaphorically is No Memory of a Smile at all
As Memories are Emotions and Emotions are Memories Now As A Source of Most all
Cognitive Executive Functioning in Short Term Working Memory and Focus too for Every Day
Life Where the Emotive Language that Flows Like Music that is Free and Original Will Inspire
Us the Most as Novelty is just another Word for the Brain Lit up in Flow of more Neurochemicals
and Neurohormones Lighting up the Body From Head to Toe in a Fuel for Muse even more. And of
Course as Science shows; A Life Spent in Mechanical Cognition in either Engineering and or Computer
Science, Etc., will take a Portion of that Relative Free Will in Cognitive Executive Functioning away for the
'Absent
Minded
Professor'
with less Free
Will in Relative Ways
for much Greater Potentials
of 'Choice' in Intelligences of Emotions/
Senses in A Dance and Song of Life in Physical Ways
of Intelligence that Drive the Song of Life even more
With A Music of Life that one will Hear and See Deep
down Up as the choice of Joy comes to Fruition even more now.
True, if one wants to Know and Feel and Sense what Relative Free Will
Really is ask an Artist And A Scientist With Twice as Much Potential for that in Either and or Life;
in this Case of Free Will, Jordan Peterson has Given a Much Better Answer for He Brings A Dance
of Life into the Overall
Equation
of
Relative
Free Will Now;
His Politics are Naive/
Incorrect to me but I don't throw
out what I see as Mistakes to Me With
What I Will Learn From Even More With Enough Personal Discernment.
Sam Harris in those Recent Debates couldn't See A Fuller Value of Religion, so Perhaps
he hasn't Gone to A University of A Small Southern Baptist Church With Less that 150 Members
Where everyone knows and feels and senses everyone's Name Taking Care of each other in Real Flesh and Blood
Now Many Ways Across the Life Span; yes, mostly Homogenous, 'Hetero', and White too but the African American
Mostly only Churches also Rejoice in the Reality of Life more than any 'Sour Puss' of Science will likely ever actually Feel.
Yes; there is Dirty Water
in those Churches
and sadly some
Folks Get thrown
out of the Pure Water
of Love for their Differences
too but true, even though, Some Do
Have Relative Free Will in Making Joy
Loves Company in places of Exclusion too;
and yes, including me too for Different Doesn't Fit
in most anywhere where Groups do their Relative Free Will too;
except for Places where Life is Celebrated as Different in Unique
Ways of Relative Free will too; either alone or with a Group of 'Crazy Dancers' as such
who come in every Variety of Human one will imagine coming together for the Joy of Life.
Albeit, most folks
have to Get Drunk
to Do it But not me
For I have the Relative Free
Will to do it with Dance and Song alone allone
Earned through Decades and Decades of Blood,
Sweat, and Tears of Relative Free Will that is earned
as Work, Work, Work outside of any 'Book' and inside too
And hey, if one can really do it without Any Drugs
That's Really Tax Free Now Baby all the way uP;
Yeah, I Realize I Talk/Dance/Sing A Whole
Lot About Heaven NoW but it's my Special
Interest And it's A WHoLE Lot Dam Better
Than
Real Hell
Now too;
University/Staycation
Hell; this is the Green Acres Place for me.
It's True; even if one is Einstein or Van Gogh;
Chances are one will get Kicked out of Art Schools, Science Schools And
Or Universities, too; But if one is both one Will Find A Way to Do Both..:)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESM43eA9u6o


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17 Sep 2018, 7:31 pm

shlaifu wrote:
I mean: the assumption of "no-free-will" is that your brain decides for you, and your conscious experience is merely the experience of having chosen what to do. Fair enough.

While I've liked Harris's description of non-compatablism, ie. not necessary determinism which would put bigger claims on the universe but just lack of anything like libertarian free will, I think he could have cleaved it even neater. We behave in a sequence of time with set states, set awareness of options, set surprise level, set amount of time to think (based on either internal or external pressures), and so our pool of available resources and motivational trajectory seems like it would be pristine.

What gets interesting with that - even if people were to make the what if claim of a God outside of time, or perhaps a God who is at the nexus of time and space, whatever makes It transcend our limitations, anything it would do to us in order to move the universe in one direction or another would be another input in our minds, emotions, subconscious drives, etc. which may well be in many cases a sort of benevolent intervention (or it could do both) but add that deity, add angels and demons, add salamanders/silphs/undines/gnomes, add spirit guides, Olympic and planetary spirits, minor gods and goddesses, that might be interesting complexity but it would in no way as far as I can tell change the problem of what our orientation to time does to our capacity to actually chose anything.

That's I think part of what makes incompatabilism gel with me is that it's not dependent on a cosmology, such as naive materialism or anything like that. Just our existence in time, something we can be almost as sure of as our being conscious, which sets that up.


shlaifu wrote:
But here's my example: maybe my brain(god/fate) decided to quit smoking, cold turkey, today. now. How could I, who only experiences what my brain choses, know?

I'd say it's true that we have limited resources to analyze this one and if it is the case that there's an apparatus hidden from us which would truly give free will, the challenge is figuring out what that would even look like. While I thought it was fascinating that Colin McGinn came out on Michael Shermer's show as a compatabilist who'd been an incompatabilist his entire life until a few months ago I was hoping to hear him make an argument that might challenge my outlook but it seemed like it was still a pragmatic parsing rather than an invocation of anything different - ie. something like psychological freedom, which I'd think is like saying that you feel as though your reactions are in tune with what you want - just that what you want even seems to me like something rather mysterious that you're given by nature and external forces rather than being self-invoked in any particular way.

shlaifu wrote:
if I can however figure out what my brain decides on, before it acts on it, I could veto - then I'm not merely experiencing things, because that would give me a feeling of dissociation from my body which I simply am, on a day-to-day basis, not experiencing.

I think of that more like experiencing the complex of being and the various emotional currents gelling with subconscious thought which can come up like flashes of powerful intuition at times, revelations at others, or it can feel like having spent hours contemplating an issue you reached a conclusion. I don't get the sense that the feeling of having done the work, like in the case of wracking your brain with some big project in your work profession, is illusory but all of the various components - pleasurable, painful, urgent, relaxed, infatuated, horny, disinterested, even enraptured with transcendental sensations with things like art and music, they're just various parts of a complex process coming together.

shlaifu wrote:
in other words: if I feel like I have free will, I have free will - because I don't know what my brain has decided on.
If I feel like I don't have free will, I still have a veto right over my brain - or experience a possibly traumatic split between what I'm thinking (deciding on) and what I see my body acting out.
It's called dissociation, and is a spectrum - from daydreaming to multiple personality disorder - in case of the latter, it isn't even me experiencing things.
But that's my point: dissociation, or not having the experience of being in charge/things being real, is on a spectrum to severe psychological disorder.

.... can you point me to the likely flaw in my argument?


I think the most likely possibility, which is where debates over free will likely break down, is it's often a poorly defined concept and much of the time I find that when I debate thoughtful people on this issue I find we're more in agreement than not and simply arguing in support of different definitions.

The definition of free will that I'm against (which is interestingly something a lot of compatabilists agree with but tend to think of it as a purely symantic dispute) is the one that suggests that at any given moment you could have made a different choice than the one that you made. It's one thing to feel that or have the feeling of accountability fueling and directing your agency, it's quite a different thing to say that you could have wilfully felt a different thing at that moment, willfully had more or less energy, more or less resilience to a shock or surprise, or maybe making the case more easy - willfully have had one or two options more or less loaded in your mind at the time when you acted that at the time you didn't. It seems to me like a categorical error fueled by hindsight when someone argues that they could have done differently. They might perhaps use the feeling that they could have to instruct themselves either to not do it again in the future if the outcome or how they felt was regrettable or to train themselves to do it more if they felt like they had some wonderful fluke of moral luck where they rose to an occasion so well that they surprised themselves.


shlaifu wrote:
second:
Sapolsky is seems to be quite apprehensive about the "people are just biological machines" to become a widespread wordlview. Which is funny, considering that was what got people so wnraged about Darwin _ that humans are animals - and animals are "beast-machines", who have no soul, no puprose, no history. They seem to be doing fine, though.
Anyway, so in the 19th century, people fled into all sorts of ideologies to prove that mankind had some sort of goal.
And now, we are faced with this issue again.
(I read John Gray's "straw dogs", which makes this argument, basically. He suggests taking a look at Asian philosophy where there's not this -ultimately christian idea - of slavation/paradise/purpose, like Daoism, to learn how to live with the flow of the universe. )

I think the silver lining of this is that we can't not learn, and those who have the capacity to learn faster will learn faster whether they want to or not. I think it was a Mark Blyth economics lecture where he brought up a Soren Kierkegaard quote, something to the effect that having done something in the past and with any knowledge of how the history worked out we can maybe occasionally come close to the same thing but we can't exactly replicate it. We might have a rolling history of blossoming and collapsing liberal democracies, dictatorships, totalitarian regimes, theocracies (though I think the later two will be fewer) for thousands of years to come or it could turn out that technology will yield such game-changers that the base-line of resource scarcity will get crushed and a lot of what propels strong central government models will collapse and it could end up in a very pleasant sort of minarchism in most places.

I've been having some particularly challenging encounters with nihilism in the past few weeks (they come and go - this round's hit hard, mostly in my collapse of faith in society) and the thing I've noticed is that a lot of distress comes from foundational assumptions getting taken away while the rest of one's orientation is still built around them. In a way it's a lot like a grief process but I have to wonder as well if that's more of a reshuffling/rebalancing set of circumstances. Someone who has a similar sort of pessimism about the future as John Gray but quite a different metaphysical outlook (John Michael Greer) often brings up that people were in dire poverty during the dark ages and still managed to fall in love, marry, have children, and get on with life even though it was horribly hard, horridly monotonous, etc.. Sometimes I really don't think we have any clue what this whole sensory marketing apparatus we've built, especially with the cheap commoditization of both images and human appearances not to mention super-fungible labor, has done to us and it will be interesting to see just how much we discover as things change. Along those lines I'd have to ask the same question about free will and meaning, ie. how would one compare the pain levels of not believing in free will or teleological meaning in a world that's already socially fitted to no free will and no meaning in a compassionate way vs. believing in no free will and no meaning in a world still ideologically underpinned by ideas of intense eschatological battles?

I don't think there are any easy answers on meaning if people really seek to be honest with themselves. I suppose without it one would focus on life more as a set of coping mechanisms and techniques rather than an epic story. The epic story thing I lived from my late teens through my late 20's and it wrecked badly. In a way I do think there are many different flavors of nihilism, some much more positively adaptive than others, and I have to wonder if it's a much larger ideological space - ie. there could be at least several distinct sets of ideas within what we call that these days to constitute systems of thought variant enough from one another to no longer throw them all under that same banner.

shlaifu wrote:
on another note:
I like that Sapolsky is staying a neuroendocrinologist, looking at the world through this frame, and not trying to revolutionize moral philosophy without having any education in that field. unlike Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson etc.

I actually don't mind Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson doing it though. They're opening up a space for interested people with highly educated and well-built opinions, especially opinions at meaningful variance from their own, to jump in without having to create such a conversational space from scratch. They may be doing it badly, as Jordan often suggests to be what happens when something first gets tried, but that's the nature of prototyping. I think it's a net positive that people are attempting to have these dialogs and I only think there's an unfortunate side-effect to the extent that people start looking at any one of them like they're something beyond mortal.


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17 Sep 2018, 7:55 pm

aghogday wrote:
We are the UniVerse at Literal Hands and Eyes and Ears and Feet in a 'Cosmos' unto ourselves as we are
literally and metaphorically the 'Cosmos' Unto 'It' 'Self' too at Least as Science Currently Illustrates well
in Terms of Systemizing Science that works.

To know that is one thing, to have that knowledge completely alleviate one's suffering or hunger for orientation is another.

This is part of why I do think one can actually be a mystic and an existentialist at the same time. You can be in a place where your experiences lead you to the persuasion that things like kundalini, prana, chi, etc. are truly universal energies welling through us rather than simply emergent effects in one's nervous system, you can have experiences that undeniably shake down any hope of seriously embracing reductive materialism (waves of causality of the sort that I think Terrence McKenna once described as the Cosmic Giggle), and at the same time find a world filled with pain, filled with unhappy people dead set on making themselves and everyone around them miserable, a world whose frame of competition is fundamentally - I like the way Bret Weinstein puts it - a spelling bee that ends in genocide, where to some extent we'll always be grading each other on a curve and quite likely be treating those below the 50th percentile at any time with cruelty.

I don't necessarily know that - if this was made with any intention in mind (which I increasingly doubt) - that it was built for our happiness. One can, if they're lucky, find happiness either in their own personal private space, sometimes in the presence of well-adjusted friends and partners whose space they can find recharge/replentishment in, but it's also true that the rest of the world will always touch base with people some how and similarly anyone that you may have felt sure of can come and go, any partner can, any job can, your economic stability is usually never quite as assured as you think, and you can find a wide variance of work environments ranging from enjoyable to outright sadistic and it's doubtful that any sort of karma leads you along from one place to the other. Not impossible maybe that some playful, flirtatious, mischievous and mysterious forces might be guiding your conscious being through a set of industrial processes but it's a set of industrial processes perhaps so foreign to human cognition and engrained human priorities that it can easily feel like they're dragging us through heavens and hells indiscriminately and being that their goals and desires often seem orthogonal to our own it's very difficult to trust the future when it's in such hands. It's not impossible maybe that we could trust the future in their hands if we knew exactly what they were doing and why, that they know whole volumes of laws that we don't have the slightest inkling of and maybe every bit of evil and exquisite human suffering is wrapped in an ends that truly justifies the means but - we're not privy to it and even if it were true there's no way to separate such speculation from pure wishful thinking as we're just not given enough knowledge to hold that assurance.


_________________
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18 Sep 2018, 12:19 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
aghogday wrote:
We are the UniVerse at Literal Hands and Eyes and Ears and Feet in a 'Cosmos' unto ourselves as we are
literally and metaphorically the 'Cosmos' Unto 'It' 'Self' too at Least as Science Currently Illustrates well
in Terms of Systemizing Science that works.

To know that is one thing, to have that knowledge completely alleviate one's suffering or hunger for orientation is another.

This is part of why I do think one can actually be a mystic and an existentialist at the same time. You can be in a place where your experiences lead you to the persuasion that things like kundalini, prana, chi, etc. are truly universal energies welling through us rather than simply emergent effects in one's nervous system, you can have experiences that undeniably shake down any hope of seriously embracing reductive materialism (waves of causality of the sort that I think Terrence McKenna once described as the Cosmic Giggle), and at the same time find a world filled with pain, filled with unhappy people dead set on making themselves and everyone around them miserable, a world whose frame of competition is fundamentally - I like the way Bret Weinstein puts it - a spelling bee that ends in genocide, where to some extent we'll always be grading each other on a curve and quite likely be treating those below the 50th percentile at any time with cruelty.

I don't necessarily know that - if this was made with any intention in mind (which I increasingly doubt) - that it was built for our happiness. One can, if they're lucky, find happiness either in their own personal private space, sometimes in the presence of well-adjusted friends and partners whose space they can find recharge/replentishment in, but it's also true that the rest of the world will always touch base with people some how and similarly anyone that you may have felt sure of can come and go, any partner can, any job can, your economic stability is usually never quite as assured as you think, and you can find a wide variance of work environments ranging from enjoyable to outright sadistic and it's doubtful that any sort of karma leads you along from one place to the other. Not impossible maybe that some playful, flirtatious, mischievous and mysterious forces might be guiding your conscious being through a set of industrial processes but it's a set of industrial processes perhaps so foreign to human cognition and engrained human priorities that it can easily feel like they're dragging us through heavens and hells indiscriminately and being that their goals and desires often seem orthogonal to our own it's very difficult to trust the future when it's in such hands. It's not impossible maybe that we could trust the future in their hands if we knew exactly what they were doing and why, that they know whole volumes of laws that we don't have the slightest inkling of and maybe every bit of evil and exquisite human suffering is wrapped in an ends that truly justifies the means but - we're not privy to it and even if it were true there's no way to separate such speculation from pure wishful thinking as we're just not given enough knowledge to hold that assurance.


Words Are Empty Shells Without Life Inside SimiLiar As Humans who aren't Nearly as Alive as Potential Holds
Within as one Evolves In A Lifetime Up or Devolves Downward More as Misery Loves Suffering in Company
too as Oft A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Engendered in Black and White Ways of the Strangest of
Cultural Strangle-Holds on all that Other Wise Might Be Pleasurable in Life Making
Carrots of Joy into Sticks of Misery Loves Company more. It's A Seek and Find Game
That surely Doesn't Seem Fair; but one does the Best they Can and Will NoW with the Actual
Reality at Hand We Move, Connect and Co-Create; or ones Goes Closer to 'The Other Place' as Worse;
And yes, tHere is Empathy for Many SHades of Grey; But Less for the dARk of Abyss and Beyond Rainbow
Colors of Life in Heaven too; for True as Bells Toll For Human Achievement in LiGht over dArk the Majority
of the
Bell
Curve
Remains rather
Gray in sHades oF iGnorance veiLeD
FAiling to Lift Feelings And Senses uP
More Toward a Ringing Spiral Above Even More oF LiGHT;
It's like the UniVerse Unto itself as Some Actually Feel and
Sense This Experience Of Oneness iN LiGHT and others get
As CLose as SHells of Words and tHat's it; it's Pretty Ugly to See
When Words Become Idols of
Form over
Substance
of Essence Real WiTHiN
to Feel and Sense more more MoRE NoW..:)


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18 Sep 2018, 9:28 am

aghogday wrote:
Words Are Empty Shells Without Life Inside SimiLiar As Humans who aren't Nearly as Alive as Potential Holds
Within as one Evolves In A Lifetime Up or Devolves Downward More as Misery Loves Suffering in Company
too as Oft A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Engendered in Black and White Ways of the Strangest of
Cultural Strangle-Holds on all that Other Wise Might Be Pleasurable in Life Making
Carrots of Joy into Sticks of Misery Loves Company more. It's A Seek and Find Game
That surely Doesn't Seem Fair; but one does the Best they Can and Will NoW with the Actual
Reality at Hand We Move, Connect and Co-Create; or ones Goes Closer to 'The Other Place' as Worse;
And yes, tHere is Empathy for Many SHades of Grey; But Less for the dARk of Abyss and Beyond Rainbow
Colors of Life in Heaven too; for True as Bells Toll For Human Achievement in LiGht over dArk the Majority
of the
Bell
Curve
Remains rather
Gray in sHades oF iGnorance veiLeD
FAiling to Lift Feelings And Senses uP
More Toward a Ringing Spiral Above Even More oF LiGHT;
It's like the UniVerse Unto itself as Some Actually Feel and
Sense This Experience Of Oneness iN LiGHT and others get
As CLose as SHells of Words and tHat's it; it's Pretty Ugly to See
When Words Become Idols of
Form over
Substance
of Essence Real WiTHiN
to Feel and Sense more more MoRE NoW..:)


I find myself increasingly interested in the qliphoth and left-hand path, not necessarily as a dominant mode for my practices but at least in complement to my other more Rosicrucian/Hermetic activities. It seems like there's a dipole of order and chaos, where the 'light' side, often correlated with Jachin or the pillar of mercy, is also associated with order and Boaz, or the left pillar of severity, is associated with chaos (so in a way the yin/yang maps onto the ToL). I think Christianity made a big mistake when it exiled it's own sort of Shiva and Kali as a devil and whore of Babylon because the cycle is more whole and functional when you have creator, preserver, redeemer, and destroyer all working together rather than the former three in an eternal war with the later. One also has a way of getting dominated by what they shut out or refuse to understand and the current pedophilia scandals in the Catholic church seem to underscore some combination of collectivist political invasion of the institution (the Weekly Standard had an interesting article on that recently) but also the sort of imbalance that comes from living a life of repressing a force that simply doesn't go away and not knowing well enough how to sublimate it.

Similarly the tree of qliphoth seems to hold the sort of primal energy you speak of often, and in a way it's difficult for me not to imagine it as something quite similar to the left pillar of severity/chaos expanded into a tree of it's own. Primal energy is often seen as a place of darkness, of chaos, of destruction, of nature red in tooth and nail, and when that was the dominant motif of the world that was Lilith metaphorically dominating Adam. Even if we've technically nerfed the outside world we still have the qliphoth within us (it's stirring in our politics) and maybe extending Jordan Peterson's plea for people to clean their rooms I find myself working with Lilith these days to clean and order my basement as well (which is, as far as I can tell, sort of a holding place for energies that we don't understand or have misused/abused/oppressed through our own misapprehensions).

While I might be a pessimist when it comes to politics I do think a practical handle on this sort of internal alchemy is the sort of thing that may give humanity hope for the future and if I remember correctly Antoine Faivre held a similar opinion to that end. It's a well of capacity and internal mediation that most people simply aren't taking advantage of and perhaps because it's considered to be out of vogue in the mainstream modern world.


_________________
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling


aghogday
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18 Sep 2018, 11:12 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
aghogday wrote:
Words Are Empty Shells Without Life Inside SimiLiar As Humans who aren't Nearly as Alive as Potential Holds
Within as one Evolves In A Lifetime Up or Devolves Downward More as Misery Loves Suffering in Company
too as Oft A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Engendered in Black and White Ways of the Strangest of
Cultural Strangle-Holds on all that Other Wise Might Be Pleasurable in Life Making
Carrots of Joy into Sticks of Misery Loves Company more. It's A Seek and Find Game
That surely Doesn't Seem Fair; but one does the Best they Can and Will NoW with the Actual
Reality at Hand We Move, Connect and Co-Create; or ones Goes Closer to 'The Other Place' as Worse;
And yes, tHere is Empathy for Many SHades of Grey; But Less for the dARk of Abyss and Beyond Rainbow
Colors of Life in Heaven too; for True as Bells Toll For Human Achievement in LiGht over dArk the Majority
of the
Bell
Curve
Remains rather
Gray in sHades oF iGnorance veiLeD
FAiling to Lift Feelings And Senses uP
More Toward a Ringing Spiral Above Even More oF LiGHT;
It's like the UniVerse Unto itself as Some Actually Feel and
Sense This Experience Of Oneness iN LiGHT and others get
As CLose as SHells of Words and tHat's it; it's Pretty Ugly to See
When Words Become Idols of
Form over
Substance
of Essence Real WiTHiN
to Feel and Sense more more MoRE NoW..:)


I find myself increasingly interested in the qliphoth and left-hand path, not necessarily as a dominant mode for my practices but at least in complement to my other more Rosicrucian/Hermetic activities. It seems like there's a dipole of order and chaos, where the 'light' side, often correlated with Jachin or the pillar of mercy, is also associated with order and Boaz, or the left pillar of severity, is associated with chaos (so in a way the yin/yang maps onto the ToL). I think Christianity made a big mistake when it exiled it's own sort of Shiva and Kali as a devil and whore of Babylon because the cycle is more whole and functional when you have creator, preserver, redeemer, and destroyer all working together rather than the former three in an eternal war with the later. One also has a way of getting dominated by what they shut out or refuse to understand and the current pedophilia scandals in the Catholic church seem to underscore some combination of collectivist political invasion of the institution (the Weekly Standard had an interesting article on that recently) but also the sort of imbalance that comes from living a life of repressing a force that simply doesn't go away and not knowing well enough how to sublimate it.

Similarly the tree of qliphoth seems to hold the sort of primal energy you speak of often, and in a way it's difficult for me not to imagine it as something quite similar to the left pillar of severity/chaos expanded into a tree of it's own. Primal energy is often seen as a place of darkness, of chaos, of destruction, of nature red in tooth and nail, and when that was the dominant motif of the world that was Lilith metaphorically dominating Adam. Even if we've technically nerfed the outside world we still have the qliphoth within us and maybe extending Jordan Peterson's plea for people to clean their rooms I find myself working with Lilith these days to clean and order my basement as well (which is, as far as I can tell, sort of a holding place for energies that we don't understand or have misused/abused/oppressed through our own misapprehensions).


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8eRzOYhLuw

Smiles, those who are afraid of the Dark (their Shadow) often fail to rise to their Full Potential of Light (Call Light God if thou Wilt). If nothing Else, Folks like Aleister Crowley get this as Do the East Indians and their Kali the Destroyer Dark and
their Shiva the Endless Dancer in always the Beginning of Now as Endless Wheel of Existence Now to be; As Far as Aleister Crowley and others Like him; they intuited the Force of Lust as Libido is Required to Move, Connect, and Create Life more. And Now Science also Agrees that a Balance of Lust (Shadow) and Love (Light) are core Human Internal Forces that do
Co-Move, Co-Connect and Co-Create Resulting in overall Greater Human Productivity as well as Social Cooperation
more and this is why Bonobos are more successful than Humans in Overall Social Cooperation for Free for
their Shadow is more Uncovered where Lust is the Dominant Force over Aggression when both Sides
of the Shadow (Lust and Aggression that are closely related in the Brain) come out to Play where
Lust becomes the Victor in the Bonobo Version of Frankie Avalon Bikini Beach. That's where
I come from, in a Close to Naked Beach, a little further South than Buttoned up Fundamentalist Muslim
Christians where the Young Woman in Christian School Finally Unbound from that Prison then Jumps from Back
of Pick-up Truck to Back of Pick-up Truck in Public Junior College finally alloWed to Unwind and Breathe. True though that's rather 'Culturally Dangerous' and likely Better Mastered through a Masturbatory Art of Some Kind First to better control the Shadow from getting in Trouble in Terms of Cultural Hoops of 'Circus Fire' like not Finishing College as a Single Mother. The Key in all things is Balance as Sex Addictions and other Behavioral Addictions as well as Substance
Addictions are usually a Core Issue of literally not Being Filled up all Warm and Fuzzy with the Neurohormone Oxytocin
as everyone comes to be a Grandmother to Be Hugged that is related to Lust in some ways as Lust Brings that Neurohormone too but obviously Grandmotherly Different as Love that doesn't Require Certain Body
Parts to get in action of Physiological Response. And in this Way the Indian Chakras are 'smART' as
Metaphors for the Importance to rise above the Maslow Pyramid of Basic Needs to avoid repressing
and oppressing those needs as that Just Stunts the Potential for More Light in Life as the Elevator
Rises or stays on the Bottom Floor of repressing and oppressing the Core Parts of Human Snake
Brains and Limbic Systems to Fight for Basic Survival and Reproduction too. A Great Mind and Body
Hack is to use these Forces of Shadow that do include Lust and Aggression to move us up and forward
instead of down and behind where most of what is life is is frustration and mal-contentment. Eventually
Science Catches up to Mythology as Mythologies are the Stories Narrated that do 'tHeir' Best to
Describe what often seems ineffable in what Moves our Inner Universe inside outside
above so below and all around as tHere is no Light Higher without Primal Energy Fuller
exposed and mastered, now too. In my Journey Back from the Grave of Culture that's
the First thing I innately, instinctually, intuited to Do with no Instructions or Guidelines
from anyone; where later I found examples Cross-Culturally where once one experiences what
Works Before they see 'the answers', the answers are much easier to see for what other folks might
see as ridiculous Word Salad and Primitive Mythology as Ignorance. Nothing could be further from the
Truth in a Balance of Shadow and Light. The World Within, inside, outside, above so below and all around
is much Deeper for those who take the Journey through the Shadow and come out on the other End oF LiGht.
Smiles; one reason, I often use the 'Big Lebowski Movie' in Clips to illustrate what i am saying in Theatrical
Productions is 'Those Dudes' found ways to Illustrate the 'Hero Journey' in Comedy more accessible to
'Group Think' 'out tHere' to get through to the 'Psychological Substrate' to borrow a Phrase from
Jordan Peterson and of course Human Archetypes In Jungian ways of Mind and Body Arts in
Balance too. Smiles; I lost a lot of 'Friends' when I got Friendly With my Shadow to 'Break
Free'; as 'they say' in many Ways Cross-Culturally too but it is almost impossible to
Help Folks Stray from the Fear of their Shadow until they find their way Back
and Below
to a
Friendly
'Pick-UP Truck' that
'Works'; I am Pleased in the Modern
Dance Halls to See Women Freeing their
Selves in Twerks of Life like this for they depend
on no 'Male Master' to become Masters of their Self
in all the ways that Freely comes in Self-Mastery too.
And it's also True when Women are doing this all around,
the Men, in Groups while they Dance often Lifting up their
Skirts to Panty View too; rarely ever do Fisticuffs come for
the Women Control Aggression with the Gift of Lust they Bring in Groups
No Different really than Bikini Beach as everyone comes Satisfied sooner
or Later with the Looks Gifts Bring. Meanwhile, the Next Morning after Being
in that Basement Level of Human Potential the Light of my Creativity can and will
be Measured Empirically in Word count even more; and also in Complexity of Creative
Think/Do Beyond what I did yester-now. One cannot expect for everyone/anyone to Follow along when
one never stops going further; but on the other hand, I go back to Basement Level Human now too and
enjoy that
more than
ever before
too for Being
Human is Truly
Super Cool as long
as one Packs their Shadow
Along with their Light in a Suit
Case of Life that feels and senses always like Life is Good.
The Answers are out 'tHere in here' for Folks who are neither
Fearful of the (Dark) Their Shadow or Cynical of the (God) Their Light That and who Lives within as Real.
God (Light) rarely more fully comes out unless the Shadows (Dark) Rise and are Mastered First in all ways
of Regulating Emotions and Integrating Senses where Gravity and Human both Float as God (Light) Higher
no longer Weighed down by the (Dark) unexposed or the (Light) Yet to Be Realized from the Home of Shadow (Dark)
it's places like this where rearranging the Words make no Difference for the Essence of (Dark) Lives as (Light) No
'matter'
'what'.
Oh yeah and don't
forget Reason and Commas
And Periods and Quotation Marks
now and then as that is why I visit
so-called 'Reason Land' with 'Poetry
Land' too but true I've been spending a
little too much time here that is both Cramping
my 'Poetry Land' Stuff and the Erotic Poetry and other
Arts I Write and Do to keep in touch with the Shadow
Side and HeART pARTs too; and Yes, a Mix of Ballet and Martial
Arts Public Dance Does that too, along with the Muse of Young
Women whose Gaze is Lowered to Leg Level of Me. I'm Very Fortunate
to Have a Wife who Understands Human Nature more than Just what comes out of 'Books'
for it's true
she has the
Intelligence(S) of
A Female Angel too
who is not only Good But Real
And that has little to nothing to Do with
Grades in School/Church/Work other than Being
Human Fully NoW A Real 'Lilith' as Angel my friEnd
only
FeaReD
by 'Lesser men' as 'DeMoN'
Anyway, NoW I've got another
30K or So Word Weekly MacroVerse
to Put together for that ever rising Longest
Freest Verse Long Form Poem Bible just for Fun and Free still Moving
Now Past 6 Million Words and 75 Miles or so closer from/to 10K Miles
of Dance to Celebrate in a MacroVerse for that in 5 Years Span
of now too; true, all we now take with us is the Gifts of Love We
Bring and the Essence of Human Potentials that Stays as the
Evolving Soul we Eternally are; Now is Forever for those NoW
who really GeT iT aLL tHere is is to Evolve/Love More and
those who just want to end that in a Spoon-Fed
Heaven in a Dirt Nap Haven't Come Close
to Earning tHeir Higher Wings but
Perhaps it might help to
Get to FeeL and
Sense tHeir
SelF A Little
better at Basement
Level from toe to tip of Head as Free Dance of
Meditative Movement Will surely Do This For Real
First Before the Rest Comes as Flight of God (Light Within)
Anyway, it's not enough to Selfishly do this With Myself for
I Have no Secrets in this Light i continue to Evolve as is as is now.
Thanks..:)

And hAha; Humans Haven't Ever Stopped Dancing; Singing More And
Writing; And Overall Playing 'Bibles' as Directors, Producers, Actors, ETc and
or Audiences As Just Spectators Sitting Still too or Dancing as 'they/those' are
EverYwHerE ALL NoW For People Who See God ISReaL NoW ALL; Some Folks now
JusT CoME to 'See/Hear' More PArts And Bigger Pictures of the Overall PLay oF LiFE ReaL..:)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z92bykaeV4o


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techstepgenr8tion
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29 Sep 2018, 8:21 am

shlaifu wrote:
(I read John Gray's "straw dogs", which makes this argument, basically. He suggests taking a look at Asian philosophy where there's not this -ultimately christian idea - of slavation/paradise/purpose, like Daoism, to learn how to live with the flow of the universe. )

On a side-bar I just finished reading Straw Dogs on Kindle, I had it on my reading list but the Kavanaugh fiasco pushed it front and center as I really wanted to remind myself that I'm sane and seeing things clearly.

I'm curious on what you thought of the book overall aside from that point. My take is it seems to be oriented to the shortly-after 9/11 era, taking the radical counterpoise to Fukuyama and trying to tell people something they hadn't heard before or if they realized it struggled mightily to forget - that humanity is a race that largely treads water and goes nowhere at personal level and has to rediscover culture with each passing generation. One of the areas that seems to be coming into increasing evidence to contrary of his viewpoint, for me at least, in the past decade is that technology may have our fundamental natures even more reeled in than he anticipated in his book. What Bret Weinstein often complains of isn't a free-floating human aggression ready to use technology to it's whims, it's closer to a riveted complaisance where the ways in which social media, good coffee, easy ordering of items on places like Amazon make us feel like everythings both perfectly right with the world, the externalities are an afterthought, and in a way we're a bit like magnets stuck to a refrigerator, that refrigerator could be ready to take a bounce down the side of a canyon and we'd still be limbically glued to it. That's not to say that we aren't capable of acting every bit as madly as the fascists and communists of the 20th century if everything hits the bricks, just that our threshold criteria for doing so has clearly risen several degrees.


_________________
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling