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Messages - Cramulus

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Apple Talk / Ben Mack
« on: January 20, 2018, 01:31:47 pm »
Ben MackBen Mack Ben Mack. Ben "Ben Mack author of Poker without Cards Mack" Mack

Ben Mack
Ben Mack


Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: January 18, 2018, 04:24:47 pm »
 :lol: sorry I am still having trouble parsing what you're asking?

Bring and Brag / Re: WEIRDOVERSE
« on: January 16, 2018, 04:19:58 pm »
what's that subtle symbol in the hawk's wake?

it evokes ankh

it evokes a fractal

it evokes a caduceus

Apple Talk / Re: Help me get banned! Win prizes!
« on: January 16, 2018, 04:17:11 pm »
The forum is a mirror

but not like how the Principia is a mirror

the forum is more like one of those mirrors you put in a bird cage so the bird thinks she's socializing

except the bird is a bonobo

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Theological Questions!
« on: January 16, 2018, 03:47:12 pm »
Is heaven just a method to get people to pull down their/zip up there - pants?  :eek:

The most cynical take on religion would say Heaven / Hell is just a motivational tool.

The old Hebrew word for Hell, Sheol, really refers to the shaded slope on the west side of the city of Jerusalem, where everyone threw their garbage. "When you die, you go to Sheol", in a literal sense means that if your life wasn't worth anything, we just throw you in the trash.

Does Yahweh like or hate hanging around with Eris?

she's like an internet troll on his forum

she loves the idea of the forum but she hates most of the mods & members

Is Christianism compatible with Santaism?

in a yin/yang sense

in the Jungian Shadow sense

compatible as in symbiotic

Is Paul (The so-called "apostle") the most successful cult leader of all time?

He's up there, but he was drinking from the Old Egyptian punch bowl.

Arguably the most successful cult leader was the dude who originally converted Paul.

The early apostles had an idea - they wanted to capture some of the real powerful ancient ideas from Pre-Sand Egypt. Christian ceremonies were not invented by these old patriarchs, they were borrowed from an older (non-jewish) form. They retold the Mithras/Horus/etc stories as current events so that people wouldn't get hung up on the other egyptian baggage. Paul et al cut out the dances and physical movements in Egyptian ceremonies, repackaged the concepts as something new, called it Christianity.

So the root question is - who converted Paul?

I wrote a new Bible book, where can I submit it?

Did the pink laser hit you in the third eye?

Was the book written using your Pineal Gland?

If not, submit it to the fuckin trash

and if it was divinely inspired & written with your pineal gland, submit it to the fuckin trash harder

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: January 16, 2018, 03:10:38 pm »
I'm not sure I follow the question..?

Bring and Brag / Re: WEIRDOVERSE
« on: January 11, 2018, 03:56:18 pm »
loved that morrison/moore article, Bobby!

Apple Talk / Re: New Year's Resolutions
« on: January 11, 2018, 01:43:16 pm »
New Year's Resolutions piss me off. If it's important, and you resolve to do it, how often does the realization happen on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1?

these days, I love it.
I am always searching for "shocks" which might shake me out of my routine

you only ask yourself the big questions after a tragedy

It's easy to live in the moment, just responding to day to day concerns. It's important to take a moment to look at your entire life and your greater context and make a decision about it. But you can't do that while you're in the micro.

new years is a hook, it makes you think about the last year - you could use it to zoom out and self-evaluate.

Last year, my new years resolution was to give up Irony on the Internet. Now I don't troll, and I don't flinch about the crappy stuff I actually like.

I don't have a firm resolution yet this year... maybe this will be the year that I figure out the next step of my career.

Apple Talk / Re: Hopeful but realistic ten-year scenarios
« on: January 11, 2018, 01:36:59 pm »
In American politics-----

When we come out of the Trump Times, we will be reborn.

One of the reasons I think American politics has been jammed is our inability to consicely articulate the real sides and stakes. Trump is a human embodiement of what's wrong, and as such, can be used as shorthand symbol. (sort of like how Hitler is a moral touchstone) If Trump's exit is spectacular enough, then no one remotely like him will be able to follow the act.

tl;dr accelerationism, but the good kind

High Weirdness / Re: Chicken grows face of dinosaur
« on: January 11, 2018, 01:28:13 pm »
I think they'd have a lot less problems if they stopped calling it a chicken.

kind of a 'ship of theseus' question here - how much DNA can you swap out and still call it a chicken?

but I guess we want gene-hacked people to still be human, so maybe it's better to think of it as a mutant-chicken than as something new

learning important lessons from prometheus here

RPG Ghetto / Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« on: January 08, 2018, 02:47:04 pm »
I'm also replaying skyrim with a "kill as few people as possible" style. No weapons, focusing on illusion. I've only swung a sword once in the whole game, and it was to kill Ulfric Stormcloak.

Getting through a dungeon using Fear spells is fun -- you disperse the enemies, then in like 2 minutes they come back with friends. You send them all running. Eventually you have pushed all the enemies into the final room of the dungeon with the boss, and just frenzy them all.

Illusion is such an underrated school. I think one of the most unsettling things in Skyrim is when a guy is about to rip your head off, you Pacify him, and he's aware of what's happening. Says something like "Oh don't do that", like he's aware that he is a sitting duck that his Fight-or-Flight response is jammed.

I'm basically replaying it 'cause the PS4 special edition was on sale. It sucks that there aren't a lot of good mods for ps4! I was so excited to take on Randy "Macho Man" World Eater, but nooooooo, not available. I've played so much of this game, the only juice left is stuff I haven't discovered yet, and there isn't a lot of that left.

Principia Discussion / Re: Anti-antiism
« on: January 03, 2018, 04:58:05 pm »
Isn't that also known as "Steelmanning" (as opposed to "strawman")?

In that, you take an opponent's argument, and you improve upon it, to make it the best argument it can be, and then you make your best argument against it.

I hadn't heard that term before! It's not necessarily for oppositional purposes, but another way of critically examining something. Yeah, when exploring an idea, sometimes the best posture isn't to argue against it, but to extend it.

There's also a chapter in The Art of Memetics which talks about the "hapkido of ideas" -- how in hapkido (akido? IDK), you never meet force with force. You wait for your opponent to punch, then you dodge, grab their arm, and pull in almost same direction as the punch, using their own effort to throw them off balance.

As far as the topic is concerned,

A mix of college and Internet forum culture instilled me with this oppositional bite - when engaging an idea, I approach it critically, that is, scanning for weakness. There was a time when I took a multi-year break from this forum because it was enflaming that tendency in me - my friends commented that they felt like when they explained something to me, I was too hung up on scanning for the weakness, finding the axis of disagreement, focusing on why things are wrong. In retrospect, it made me annoying to be around.

Part of my cure for this was to practice "the believing game".

When you encounter a new idea, before you've really thought about it, there is something that happens in your intuition. You make an emotional decision about the idea - you decide to either explore it or defeat it, and then your rational mind starts building up support structures for that decision.

When I was stuck on the Doubting Game, I was doing more defeating than exploring, more challenging than embracing. I was convinced that I was just being super rational - until that "rationality" started to feel like the walls of a black iron prison cell.

Principia Discussion / Re: Anti-antiism
« on: January 03, 2018, 03:25:20 pm »

There is a critical process sometimes called 'The doubting game', which is what most people think of when they think of critical thinking. It has to do with hearing a position and trying to discover the weakness, or the opposite position which falsifies it. Academia trains us to do this almost automatically.

There is another process called 'The believing game' - which is to accept the assertion the other person is making, and then following and extending its logic. You assume that the best possible version of that idea will manifest in the world and then explore where that leads.

and maybe we need more of the Believing game in this world.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: January 03, 2018, 02:59:00 pm »
Another Gurdjiffian notion I find to be (mostly) bullshit is the necessity of making "super efforts" to effect change. It's true, there are circumstances that arise where you do need to amp up things as high as they can go, to really force the juice along. Yet in my life what's been way more important is consistent on-going effort. The "pay attention and stay awake" game requires a deeply relaxed  yet focused attention.  Instead of using a sledge hammer to vanish a rock "Hulk go Smash!"  I favor the wind & water way. Steady relaxed focused attention. Wind & water over time will smooth down that stone  into nothing. You have to be patient and not expect immediate results. But steady relaxed effort bears fruit.  Super-efforts mostly create tension which can cramp attention. Yet there are times to amp it way up. Nothing is written in stone.

I've really only read one or two chapters that talk about super efforts, so I'm not real savvy. And I'm grounded in wu-wei, so I get what you mean. Go with the flow, and yo often get there without wasting your breath.

Here's how I read it though -- there are a lot of things that you cannot accomplish through ordinary efforts. I think about some of the major life changes I've made, some of the moments when I really stopped and took an assessment of who I was and what I wanted to be and corrected my course --- in those moments, I was really awake. And none of those moments happened under ordinary circumstances, they happened because I was facing an enormous pressure and needed an enormous response.

The Wu-Wei thinking from Taoism is that you should be able to approach these "super-efforts" head on. Ideally, you should make life changes as effortlessly as you order a pizza. In the Chao Te Ching, we said "Universe isn't sweaty, why should you be?" Sometimes, you do have to go into the crucible. You just want to walk out okay, not all wounded and burned, self sabotagued by doubt and insecurity.

I think about how the work groups which Gurdjieff led would engage in fasting, or the Stop exercise, or demand other hardships from their members. On some level it's a literal exercise--you face a hardship on purpose in order to develop "muscles". If you have no practice using your will, fasting is hard. Your body keeps throwing "go get some food" instructions into the processor. Without will, you just follow those instructions mechanically.

Mastering the self, controlling your impulses, escaping your prison cell... you get better at it with practice. And you get more practice by climbing a difficult mountain than from a lifetime of climbing easy hills.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: January 03, 2018, 02:39:57 pm »
Like you, I entered a work group through attending a public reading. It was a chapter from a short Ouspensky book.  Afterwards the speaker said that the most important idea to him was though "We have none presently, we do have the possibility  of creating a soul which can be immortal within the confines of the Solar System" I threw up in my mouth hearing that.  At that point in my still young life, my years of lucid-dreaming had turned into full-blown out-of-body experiences. And if a moron like me was directly experiencing his non-physical body, then EVERYONE had to have one. In other words, it's an innate thing for every single person. Not something that needs to be created. Nothing unique. Nothing mystical. It just is. Folks might not be consciously experiencing it, but it is there as a core part of every single human being. ( 'fore I go on. I am nobody special. I am a statistic. A strange statistic yeah, but still an idiot. Like you)  I have since found out, that at least in the S.F. Gurdjieff Foundation, that fucked-up idea that you need to "form a soul", a non-physical body, is dogma. Well cupcake, if you believe you can't consciously leave your physical body and explore non-physical reality, you will never do it consciously. Because if you don't think it's possible, you will never pay attention to it. You are already doing it every fucking night anyway. Unconsciously. You just need to remember that you are actually doing it. In the present moment that you are actually doing it. It's not that hard to become aware of. Takes some practice. And you do need to be able to pay attention. But still. C'mon! You're not a little baby anymore! Am I right? You can do it! ( I'm ranting 'cuz I'm pissed) Fuck you Gurdjieff fuck-heads for saying it's only advanced holy beings that have immortal vehicles. I'm living proof of that. If I'm an example of an advanced being, then honey we are all fucked. Granted, your soul might be at  the level of a petulant 5 year old, but you are still an immortal being that will never truly die. You might need to grow the fuck up, but fellow immortal, I salute you!

Thanks for the reply, a great discussion point.

My Gurdjieff work group always emphasizes that you shouldn't blindly believe stuff that you haven't verified yourself. I'll frequently bring up some far-out star-eyed claim in some book, and they'll be like "Okay, that stuff is really hard to talk about." Several times, I've brought up something like the vagueness of the word Energy, the unfalsifiability of claims relating to immortality, stuff like that --- and frankly, most of my objections are about their claims about objectivity, objective consciousness, objective meaning. I've spent decades of my life in a postmodern absurdist reality tunnel, and this work predates those ideas, so some of them just don't have a house in my existant mental landscape. Generally, the Gurdjieff people will tell me:

"Don't sweat it too hard. Those of us that have been talking about this stuff for decades, we rarely talk about the "big cosmic stuff", it's a little harder to relate to. Most of us are drawn to certain parts of the work because they resonate with us. Gurdjieff wrote a lot of stuff, not all of it is going to be right for you. When he had a big idea, he tried to build a lot of different roads to it."

And I'm down with that, to a degree -- I'm not here for immortality, I'm here to wake up, to escape the mediocrity of my life. In the 1900s, there was a lot of talk about seances and the "other side", and Gurdjieff kind of needed to put a paw down into that topical world--but it's really not the focus of his work, nor my goal personally.

So -- all that is saying, I haven't gotten tooooo deep into that part of the pool.

On the topic of the immortal soul, I'll say this ---

1. The Gurdjieff work regards a part of us as immortal already. This is atman, in the Upanishads. It's Emerson's Over-Soul. It is fundamentally distinct from ego and personality.

2. I dig the part in in search of the miraculous where someone asks about immortality and Gurdjieff tells them, look, you change every frickin day. There is nothing constant about you other than your environment. If something big happened in your life, you'd become a different person. If something as big as death happened, whatever part of you remains is also going to be dramatically changed by it. If You (Today) met You (Dead), you might not even recognize each other.

3. If you're talking about immortality in the sense of your ego, your personality surviving death ... that's probably not gonna work out.

4. When Gurdjieff writes about immortality, I think it's best read it non-literally. Every passage I've read about immortality can scan as talking about something pretty ordinary and terrestrial. He basically says that if you were a really strong presence in the world, you might continue to affect it even after you're gone. In my reading of the text, I think he's talking about how, today, we are still influenced by Ghandi and Elvis and Gurdjieff even though they have been dead for a long time. When they were alive, they affected the world so much that parts of them remain and essentially continue to function. That kind of immortality, for sure, is earned--not everybody gets one. And there's nothing mystical about it.

And I'll be honest, I'm skeptical of astral projection. I don't doubt that you've had experiences, I just am not clear on what they are or what they tell us about the world. Do you think the astral body you project is the same thing as Gurdjieff refers to as the immortal (kesdjan) body? Does astral projection give you knowledge of those that have already died physical deaths, an understanding of that world? How do you know that you're not just in a trance of heightened imagination? How confident are you that your astral-body is will still be around after physical death? and not just yours, but everybody's? In what sense are they still part of the world, given that it doesn't seem like they do anything that we can notice?

thank you for the thoughtful post!

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