Implications of the Near-Death Experience with Peter B. Todd

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techstepgenr8tion
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17 Nov 2019, 4:45 pm

This is always a gutsy topic to post anything about but I'm sharing this because I've had the chance to listen to a few of Peter B Todd's interviews and I think he's one of the people whose best positioned himself in terms of the nexus of meaning for what these experiences would suggest about reality if they pan out to be telling us something about consciousness that we didn't already know. The short and dirty of it - his phrasing of it is evolutionary panentheism, borrowing some ideas from Teilhard De Chardin and also heavily influenced by some roll-out of process philosophy (eg. Whitehead) and Jung. A lot of people who've had NDE's tend to go all fluffy-bunnies about it, I'm really glad that he hasn't and I'm hoping more people increasingly don't do that.

My biggest fear with this stuff is that we're at risk of having a really bad cultural moment with the scientific edifice being under even more threat than it is now as it presents a real risk of upheaval. It's bad enough that certain flanks of practical postmodernism and creationism are trying to eat away at the authority of math and science from both ends but I'm as worried that if evidence for this sort of thing starts becoming more abundant and the scientific community has no contingency plan for including it and taking it under their domain it will be every bit as bad for the funding of the sciences, and from that perspective technological and by extension cultural progress, if they drop the ball on this one so bad and double-down on reductive materialism as a total ontology for so long that by the time it gets to be incontrovertable they'll have exhausted their credibility with the public on this topic (and I'm terrified of most people who'd want to fill that void and who the average person would take as an authority). I get that enough people are '500% sure' that all of this isn't real - that's part of the problem and why lacking epistemic humility can get really dangerous. If we're worried about whether not talking at all about intelligence and the like will give groups like the far-right custody over forbidden facts think about what a land grab would be at risk if organized religion were somehow able to pull public confidence out from under science and back toward itself. I don't see this being a risk in the super near-term but by the 2025 to 2030 frame it's likely to be a credible threat.

For how people handle politics these days I have little faith that they'd go for 'evolutionary panentheism', I doubt they could even pronounce it let alone understand it or whether or not it was the best model wouldn't matter. Instead they'd be much more likely to go for Southern Baptism, Pentecostalism, or whatever tripped their triggers as a good parental authority structure. That's one of the cultural/political skeletons in the closet that the mainstream scientific edifice seems quite clued in on but never seems to want to talk about the practical realities of, maybe because it works better to tell people to literally believe all is reductive materialism than to suggest that it's a stop gap to keep the barbarians among us from conquering liberal democracy, separation of church and state, etc. in favor of some form of theocracy. One of the sad byproducts of that is that words like supernatural and paranormal are still in common use which should have been done away with years ago if our sense-making were actually operating effectively and they're used to describe everything from the hallucinatory to the inconvenient.

On a side-note I'm not showing the thumbnail because it's far better explained in the video and it would cast too much confusion (it's something that actually reflects well on him but is somewhat orthogonal to the topic of NDE's, conscious systems, etc.).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSgt8HEK0BI


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17 Nov 2019, 9:38 pm

I read your post and watched the video. If I'm understanding you, what you are worried about is an increase in the belief of God and the afterlife, which will undermine rational thought, science and the strides made to get away from that sort of narrow thinking.

I guess anything is possible.

I'm a Theist, but the things that I have read regarding death suggest to me that I will sleep. When Jesus explained to his disciples what was going on with Lazarus, he said "he sleepeth." When describing where the dead went in the old testament, it said, "and he sleepeth with his fathers." Nothing I have read suggests to me that I'll be going anywhere but to sleep immediately after death. So, I would be inclined to attribute visions, sensations, etc... to hallucinations and misfiring of neurons as the brain is increasingly deprived of oxygen. But sleeping is very pleasurable, so I could see the sensation of falling asleep as being described in a positive light.

That doesn't mean I don't believe in an afterlife, it just means that for me, I don't believe I would be able to accurately report back about anything I've seen should I be revived.

I also read up on Carl Jung, someone else had mentioned him in earlier today. I can see the wisdom in some of his ideas. I do not believe in the idea that we possess our relative's memories though. I believe we possess 'memory,' but the memory would be associated with where ever the soul was housed prior to that first breath outside the womb. Whale song reminds me of remembrance, of what, I don't know. And I wouldn't say I would assign a verbal description to what I'm remembering, either.

I don't believe there will be an increase in fundamentalism. If nothing else, the Bible says that there will be a great falling away from the church. People will not all of a sudden start clambering to know God. I believe the reverse will be true until Christians/Theists will become like today's cigarette smokers: They'll let the smoker live, but he/she will be relegated to a corner, with much contempt.

Just my opinion


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17 Nov 2019, 9:48 pm

Persephone29 wrote:
I read your post and watched the video. If I'm understanding you, what you are worried about is an increase in the belief of God and the afterlife, which will undermine rational thought, science and the strides made to get away from that sort of narrow thinking.

It's not necessarily that I'm afraid people will believe - it's the process of integrating such a divergent set of ideas from those currently governing our culture, at a mass cultural level, without a lot of eggs getting cracked in the process. I think there has to be a progressive direction to go with it but that move wouldn't be intuitive for most people and they'd need a lot of help - all most people are used to thinking about is a) traditional Abrahamic monotheism, b) reductive materialist atheism, and this is c) something - borrowing from Ken Wilber - transcending and including all of the above but not the same as either, I'm sure including all of scientific progress as we know it but recontextualizing it in a different sort of container.

It's more like any massive change in perspective that catches us off-guard and unable to adapt is likely to send us through an incredibly rocky transition (the internet and social media are proving to be a great example of this). IMHO what's true is true, and we have to roll with whatever the universe and our discoveries give us, but we equally can't be naive about how well prepared world, governmental, and institutions in the command of public trust need to be not to get rolled under in the face of such things. Short of that cultural equilibrium changes really fast, the reigns of power go slack, and there's a frantic grab for land in the re-balanced environment where lots of the contestants are quite cynical.


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17 Nov 2019, 10:02 pm

With college being increasingly out of reach financially, I guess it's possible that a few parents will continue to be successful in teaching their children about God. But, I'm expecting it to plateau. The believers will be dying off with the close of the greatest generation and the baby boomers. There are some stragglers, I and others like me are proof of that. But, there's just as many who attended church as kids and did not take their kids to church at all. The republican party will die off with Gen X, maybe sooner. It will be the same with passing along God's teaching. It's sad, but it doesn't really bother me. That's the way it was supposed to be.


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17 Nov 2019, 10:08 pm

Persephone29 wrote:
The republican party will die off with Gen X, maybe sooner.

I can't quite relate on this point. I think both Republican and Democratic parties are badly ossified by bad decisions across the last century and they're both going need to shed a lot of dead weight, especially this dogmatic political ideology (again 20th century frames for 21th century problems won't work) fused with corporatism in an environment where - through automation - the private sector will increasingly be a place that can't act as workfare/welfare system in the functional capacity that it did during the 20th century.

I like the way Sam Harris put it even a year ago - we need to be on team human which means working together, in good faith, to solve problems and to the degree that we've hit walls with this there isn't another good choice but to keep pushing to re-establish good faith interaction as the standard.

As for whatever best adequately describes this third factor - Universal Mind, Ancient of Days, Brahma, Adam Kadmon, etc. what seems clear is that it's minimal interventionist, much more like Spinoza's conceptions, and the challenge is just to stop people from freaking out.


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17 Nov 2019, 10:17 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Persephone29 wrote:
The republican party will die off with Gen X, maybe sooner.

I can't quite relate on this point. I think both Republican and Democratic parties are badly ossified by bad decisions across the last century and they're both going need to shed a lot of dead weight, especially this dogmatic political ideology (again 20th century frames for 21th century problems won't work) fused with corporatism in an environment where - through automation - the private sector will increasingly be a place that can't act as workfare/welfare system in the functional capacity that it did during the 20th century.

I like the way Sam Harris put it even a year ago - we need to be on team human which means working together, in good faith, to solve problems and to the degree that we've hit walls with this there isn't another good choice but to keep pushing to re-establish good faith interaction as the standard.



I believe socialism will eventually win out, not because it's good. But because there's an increasing number of people who believe that if they are unsuccessful in caring for themselves financially, it's somebody else's responsibility to do it. That's a harmful and castrating philosophy. The good thing is that I'm about 2/3rds the way through my life and I don't have to participate in it. And this is where I leave you... Got to get some sleep. Have a good one...


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17 Nov 2019, 10:25 pm

Persephone29 wrote:
I believe socialism will eventually win out, not because it's good. But because there's an increasing number of people who believe that if they are unsuccessful in caring for themselves financially, it's somebody else's responsibility to do it. That's a harmful and castrating philosophy. The good thing is that I'm about 2/3rds the way through my life and I don't have to participate in it. And this is where I leave you... Got to get some sleep. Have a good one...

That's a really sad thought on their part because they're throwing themselves on the mercies of psychopaths and that probably wouldn't be death, it would brutal enslavement of some form or another.

That aside - I don't bash people for making the decision to worship within the traditional Abrahamic faiths if it's helping them live better lives, just that for my own six or seven passes through the old and new testament I was pushed to different conclusions as have my own mystical experiences.


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18 Nov 2019, 7:16 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Persephone29 wrote:
I believe socialism will eventually win out, not because it's good. But because there's an increasing number of people who believe that if they are unsuccessful in caring for themselves financially, it's somebody else's responsibility to do it. That's a harmful and castrating philosophy. The good thing is that I'm about 2/3rds the way through my life and I don't have to participate in it. And this is where I leave you... Got to get some sleep. Have a good one...

That's a really sad thought on their part because they're throwing themselves on the mercies of psychopaths and that probably wouldn't be death, it would brutal enslavement of some form or another.

That aside - I don't bash people for making the decision to worship within the traditional Abrahamic faiths if it's helping them live better lives, just that for my own six or seven passes through the old and new testament I was pushed to different conclusions as have my own mystical experiences.



The entire prospect of socialism is enslavement. Someone somewhere drew up a healthcare plan, people will take it. Taking it puts them at the mercy of a group of people who themselves, have access to the quickest, best healthcare available. Yet the poor must wait, be seen, wait again for testing, wait again for results, wait again for referral, wait again for treatment. Perhaps get substandard treatment... maybe survive, maybe not.
As it stands now, with doctors who feel they are being compensated well, there's a drive to go to extreme measures and advocate for patients. Take away the financial incentive, add a protocol to care and treatment, swamp the physicians with ungrateful and entitled patients and they will eventually go numb. They will become just a part of the machine.
Monetarily, a basic income will remove the drive for personal achievement. It will remove accountability to oneself. In short, " I exist, therefore pay me." It's wrong to do that to people, UNLESS they are severely physically or mentally impaired. To me, it would be the equivalent of being the walking dead.


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18 Nov 2019, 7:39 am

Persephone29 wrote:
Monetarily, a basic income will remove the drive for personal achievement. It will remove accountability to oneself. In short, " I exist, therefore pay me." It's wrong to do that to people, UNLESS they are severely physically or mentally impaired. To me, it would be the equivalent of being the walking dead.

So this is just how bad things are getting - we may be looking at either basic income or a bad enough dystopia that we either end up with bloody revolution or no more liberal democracy (come to think of it that's redundant - revolution would just get us there a different way), all of that considering the effects of what happens if power drifts to a tiny corner and something like 30% or greater of the populace are permanently unneeded in the economic sector.

It may very well be that we're forced to think of the survival of the species first and foremost. The biggest downside with UBI isn't just entitlement, it's the same problem with federal healthcare - you're a puppet on a string for whoever is giving you that money and the incentives for politicians to really enslave minds with that are awful. This is where people will have to fight tooth and nail to get better ideas in place or at a minimum quite powerful cultural countermeasures to these sorts of self-interest effects.

If I were to try and get some take-away as to where an idea like Peter B Todd's might fit, ie. getting the west to embrace the God of Whitehead and Spinoza it would be for the sake of understanding that the structural problems we're dealing with are universal problems, problems that said Mind is attempting to solve and that we're the problem-solving agents in that equation. Taken seriously it's a view where we technically have to take responsibility for things and can't be a cargo cult for the divine which treats anything above us as a potential Santa Claus to give us things. From that perspective though we have to think as diligently and clearly as we can about said problems in the world and working to resolve them the right way or at least build the best patches we can for any time being because to that degree not only are we all we have, we're what Mind At Large has. The divine might be able to, to some degree, decrease the viscosity of information flow and potentially the neurological log-jams people have but past that it's really on us.


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19 Nov 2019, 11:52 pm

Yes; Smiles it is a bit sad that it should have to be Gutsy
to Speak about Different Dimensions of Conscious Awareness
That Exist Much Higher than what 'Mundane' Life of the kind Culturally
Spoon-Fed to Us From Birth Convinces us that this is the only Reality Possible For Us.
Smiles; judging from the Verbal Intelligence of the Gentleman Here; probably the only way
he was going to get to go somewhere else but Verbal Think; was through the Stress of a Near
Death Experience; This "God Head" He Speaks of; This "Divinity"; This "Higher Force" of Energy Within
is Cross-Culturally Described in Many Metaphors for Generally the Essence of what might be described
as small
as a three
Letter word
and expansive
for all practical
intents and purposes
for Being Human as all that
is; yes, in Movement and Repose
Waves That Wash in And Wash Out
of Mindful Awareness From Head to toe
and so much more; relatively SpeaKinG of course;
out of time, distance, space, and matter too; WHeRe aLL
Becomes Eternal Now of Bliss, Nirvana, Satori, Prana, Chi,
Ka, Ki, Tao, Kundalini Rising the Metaphors do go on for Divinity
The Space of No Space, Distance, Matter, or Time; Kingdom of Heaven Within
God Speak
For God
Head too;
Best News oF all
THiS ain't JusT one
Dude's Dream
And even
better
News
Not A Stitch of
Cultural Clothing Or
Books to Hold Hands and
See the Face of God Just Love for all that is;
True; Just A Naked Dance And Song In Sand And
Sun Will Do; no different Really than A Lion on the Dew-lit
Savannah or Mid-Day Sands; To Cool A Soul the Similar Way;
What have
We Lost
through
All of Our Cultural
Clothes; Not Much; Just
The Cost; Wild and Free
of Heaven Within; Just
God; No Big Deal;
Just the Gift;
the Breath;
of ReALLy;
Loving Life..:)


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20 Nov 2019, 7:46 am

^^

I think of society like an equilibrium reaction where we're going through a very... very!! !... slow process of trying to move the common denominator up a few clicks every decade or, more realistically, maybe a couple clicks every hundred years. A lot of the crap we see today we'll see some version of hundreds if not thousands of years from now. New ideas though, or even just relatively un-new ideas that never caught surface, tend to need careful introduction to the landscape largely because the common denominator tends to just panic and loose it's isht if the benefits it gets from basking in the middle of the bell-curve look like they might be upset or voided somehow.


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20 Nov 2019, 2:05 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
^^

I think of society like an equilibrium reaction where we're going through a very... very!! !... slow process of trying to move the common denominator up a few clicks every decade or, more realistically, maybe a couple clicks every hundred years. A lot of the crap we see today we'll see some version of hundreds if not thousands of years from now. New ideas though, or even just relatively un-new ideas that never caught surface, tend to need careful introduction to the landscape largely because the common denominator tends to just panic and loose it's isht if the benefits it gets from basking in the middle of the bell-curve look like they might be upset or voided somehow.


Smiles; it's true 'the Common Denominator' or better put the ones who do their best
to dominate the Different they Don't Understand, is the same Classically Evolved
as It ever has been for those who Live in Some Kind of Desert Scarcity; and i surely
understand; as recently i had an unexpected visitor from 'normally speaking' a very
Unwelcome Guest Yesterday; who i am hoping is going away soon enough for A Great Long While
Again and that is the Real Human Monster; the Natural Pain of Trigeminal Neuralgia;
So far Type one and on the Left Side of my Face that does not so far destroy
effective use of my eyes and ears for 33 Months; and just through extraordinary
Pain of 66 Months to Endure the Whole thing; There are many kinds of Suffering
in the World; yes, still my Wife has Back Pain and she thinks she understands this kind
of Pain when i tell her i can't even understand what she is saying when i endure this pain;
and the More She Doesn't Understand and says she understands Pain as she endures back pain;
the more impossible it is ever to find a way to make her understand; same as the response from most everyone
i knew until that Pain was diagnosed finally two years into it; a Migraine Nothing compared to that like Ice Cream
In Heaven; and anywhere better than in a right eye and ear like it was in mine; Ice Pick; Dentist Drill without Novocain;
yet people still can't seem to understand that the Devil may be a completely invisible looking Disability to them; the
Real Hell; no fake place on Earth Within; Anyway, my Point here is the Common Denominator on that Bell Curve who do
not want their pre-conceptions ruffled; no more than those who could not and still cannot fathom what a real Pain
worse than literally worse than crucifixion is as yes; when i told my Mother then she couldn't help but to
Protect the Dear Story of her Jesus until she opened up a Book She Purchased to Prove me wrong on
that Very Crucifixion to the very page to read to me as she first read the words that the only
pain assessed as worse torture is actually Trigeminal Neuralgia; from Wake to Sleep; in
My Case no 3 Hour to 3 Day Tour; yes, from Wake to Sleep for 66 Months; so still
there is the other side of the coin; many People can't fathom the Ignorance
that keep people in that Common Denominator; that so-called
Comfortable place of Mundane on the Bell Curve of life;
the Shades of Grey that Make Purgatory real; the
Life where Death is Seen as More Important
than Life for the so-called Here-After
for a Life seen as less than more of what
may come after a Dirt Nap; It is as impossible to
Show Someone Heaven as it was for someone to See My
Hell as far as actually experiencing it then and now; hey but
that doesn't keep me from trying; i don't worry too much about ruffling
People on that Common Denominator of Shades of Grey of Purgatory too much;
as it is not much different than the Opaque Window Really of assessing someone else's Pain or Numb in
Real Hell On Earth; do i wish more folks could find Heaven on Earth Within; yes, of course Science now
Can at least Partially Measure it; it's real; and Cultures Through History have reported it in metaphors
of Sacred and Holy Text in Poetry too; one person on a street in Heaven; one person in Hell; another
Person just
'Luke Warm'
Caught between
the Goal Posts of
Both as Pink Floyd
Clearly Dances and
Sings Wishing 'they' were
Here; but nah; not with this
Trigeminal Neuralgia Pain now
for surely if people understood
that Pain and it could be administered
for the Most Heinous of Crimes; the Crime rate would
go down way far; but on the other Hand; Billionaires would
Give all their 'Extraneous Riches' Away if and when and if they could find the
Nirvana Possible
to Generate now
Within; short-cut
Life Practice Whole
to the Pot of Beyond
Gold at the Beginning of
the Rainbow they literally have
no idea exists; i suppose that's the way Nature (GoD) Creates it to be for
now; perhaps until another Million Years of Evolution on another
Planet of course with smiles;
The Greatest
Gift Perhaps
is to understand
the Difference Between
Both Places; for some live
in one and never see the other;
And the Blessing surely All Naturally
of the other. And Yes, People Will Try to take it
away from you; having no idea what you already have..:)


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20 Nov 2019, 9:06 pm

One of the books I still really appreciate shliafu point out was Straw Dogs by John Gray. Reading that I was able to take a lot of observation's that I'd been compiling for close to 20 years, put a flag in the ground, and say 'that'.

The one odd thing about anguish and pain is they seem to be one of the few things that keep enough people from spiraling into complete and total self-absorption. Without something wrong, I mean persistently wrong, in most people's lives they're quite often living for little more than the next bump of dopamine and it's interesting to see what seems, biologically, like it should be a superior place of functioning is more often than not a horse bitted and bridled by markets, trends, what's this years phone to have, style of clothes to have, the latest and greatest app, etc.. It's gotten bad enough in western culture that any kind of depth is almost taken as adaptation to disease and thus a state of not being alpha, genetically healthy, etc. whereas being vapid and shallow is a sign that no one could ever cross you and that you're carrying your habits unimpeded nearly from childhood thus it's a sign that your genes are superior and you see people acting on this premise all the time either thinking or unthinkingly.

The way I see the bigger picture on this - it's as if the gene pool is trying to shrug off several thousands of years of culture, deselect intelligence, and wander far enough back to where people can just kill what's different if they want to, shag the biggest brute in sight, rape to impregnate if they have to - all this science, philosophy, human rights, and moral philosophy's just to hard for them and they want to go back to the jungle. As depraved as that urge is I've gotta wave reality in their faces a bit - ie. other animals might get on like that but they don't have nuclear fission reactors to maintain or the whole host of other things that make a wasteland of nature if we don't constantly look after them. Beavers don't have uranium in their dams and ant eaters don't have stockpiles of nukes that they use to loosen up the sides of termite mounds with. It's too late for us to do anything but either take responsibility for what we are and what we can do or go extinct or downsize, through some unimaginable social catastrophe, down to a remnant population.


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20 Nov 2019, 11:56 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
One of the books I still really appreciate shliafu point out was Straw Dogs by John Gray. Reading that I was able to take a lot of observation's that I'd been compiling for close to 20 years, put a flag in the ground, and say 'that'.

The one odd thing about anguish and pain is they seem to be one of the few things that keep enough people from spiraling into complete and total self-absorption. Without something wrong, I mean persistently wrong, in most people's lives they're quite often living for little more than the next bump of dopamine and it's interesting to see what seems, biologically, like it should be a superior place of functioning is more often than not a horse bitted and bridled by markets, trends, what's this years phone to have, style of clothes to have, the latest and greatest app, etc.. It's gotten bad enough in western culture that any kind of depth is almost taken as adaptation to disease and thus a state of not being alpha, genetically healthy, etc. whereas being vapid and shallow is a sign that no one could ever cross you and that you're carrying your habits unimpeded nearly from childhood thus it's a sign that your genes are superior and you see people acting on this premise all the time either thinking or unthinkingly.

The way I see the bigger picture on this - it's as if the gene pool is trying to shrug off several thousands of years of culture, deselect intelligence, and wander far enough back to where people can just kill what's different if they want to, shag the biggest brute in sight, rape to impregnate if they have to - all this science, philosophy, human rights, and moral philosophy's just to hard for them and they want to go back to the jungle. As depraved as that urge is I've gotta wave reality in their faces a bit - ie. other animals might get on like that but they don't have nuclear fission reactors to maintain or the whole host of other things that make a wasteland of nature if we don't constantly look after them. Beavers don't have uranium in their dams and ant eaters don't have stockpiles of nukes that they use to loosen up the sides of termite mounds with. It's too late for us to do anything but either take responsibility for what we are and what we can do or go extinct or downsize, through some unimaginable social catastrophe, down to a remnant population.


Instant Gratification Creates Lack of Attention And Focus when constant Challenge beyond bored and below
not too stressed is not part of the Evolutionary Pie 'these days'.

I'm reminded of John B Calhoun's 'Rat Utopia' Experiment in the 60's many places i go; Instant
Gratification is not the Way of Nature; When the Environment provides that Populations get
out of Control and cut-backs Naturally Come.

In this case, so far the Cut-Backs are the Kind of Existential Angst that comes with Social Isolation
And The Vague And Ever Growing Sense that Life Just doesn't make sense.

Smiles; Money No Problem Now; which means i have the Ability to Live in an Ivory Tower
Away from Exactly the Brutal Rat Race that Happens that You Describe; sure, been there
done that it's not a pretty sight and getting uglier for many folks every day.

Anyway, i stay in Boot Camp of my own way of creating challenges and stay in Balance that
way. And This Pain so Far is still Just sporadic and even if it was always as long as it is not
in my Eyes and Ears, i will find some kind of Escape that i couldn't find before; Most
Important Keep from Losing my Emotions again; as that was definitely worse to
me not having any reference point of Memories of Emotions if i ever Smiled
or Laughed before per the Humanity of Feeling that.

Life is Good Even with an Occasional Ice Pick in my Face.

Not sure that 'eating Ice Cream every Meal' would be any better than this.

In fact, i'm sure it wouldn't; rather have struggle; than become basically a slug pressing a Cocaine Lever.

So i Dance And Sing Ever Changing in Complexity; every word every step a New Adventure of Joy and Struggle;

Appreciation of both the Dark and Light; particularly when a Round of Pain Free comes Next. Strange what we can/will
learn to appreciate; at best to appreciate anything at all. i never want to go back to that place again of Real Hell on Earth.

I've found ways to avoid it as a practice of Life that works; of course make and model of each Human Varies Wildly; no
Two solutions will Necessarily work for Unique Individuals; at best we Live Living as the Environment and our Potentials Create..:)


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