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Messages - Cramulus

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Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: August 15, 2017, 03:22:04 pm »
I really appreciate the thoughtful reply, PoFP.

This fact made me look at something you'd said earlier about the Master-Apprentice communicative relationship, and the limitation of literary communication, a bit differently. I think it's impossible to transfer the Secret, "Spiritual" information without that intrinsic connection to other people. A common theme among these ideas you and Gurdjieff present involve deep connections with other people; a sense of community.

I noticed throughout my life that the most dangerous I ever was, to myself and others, was when I was isolated. I made decisions that were borderline sociopathic, and I would say this time was when I was the least myself. All of my decisions were based on extrinsic reward, and disregarded any sense of community or personal connection. I was unwilling to sacrifice anythinAbg for anyone. I would argue that it's this isolation, or romanticization of this isolation in today's society that keeps us from seeing our Selves as often as we should. I think it's what keeps us from realizing the strength and potential in the unexplained power of connection.

Yes, absolutely - this is why it's said that Gurdjieff work can only be done in groups. Group work creates empathetic bonds between people, and these bonds are channels through which we can actually communicate. When I read your post, I am trying to hear it in your voice, to resonate with the place you're coming from. I'm trying to get a little of your essence into mine. This empathy helps both of us - it helps me understand you, and through it, it gives me another channel to understand myself and how I'm coming off. Consciousness can be increased through group work. (and conversely - a bad group can decrease it - like a predatory cult or religion)

Through this web of relationships, you can start to feel another aspect of the self emerge, the self that is shared between you and me. That's part of what the Sacred Movements are for - by doing these elaborate movements in a group, it develops a sensitivity to each other at a very fine physical and emotional and intellectual and temporal level. If you develop this webwork while in a psychological space where all three 'brains' (body, emotions, intellect) are processing the self and the other at the same time--you start to experience a group spirit.

And that group spirit is an aspect of an even larger human spirit.
And that human spirit is an aspect of an even larger absolute cosmic spirit.

as individuals, we are zoomed in
as a group, we have the capacity to zoom out into the larger scales of Being.

A Hierarchy of Laws
As a tangent (sorry), Gurdjieff posits that all the different levels of magnification of the universe (from the absolute down to the microscopic) have their own laws, and these laws are imposed on the smaller forms of the universe. The more we zoom in, the more laws are in play.

I'm at work, following the rules and regulations of everyday life, but I'm also subject to the laws of the earth itself--weather, tectonics, etc.

There are collective human laws, like the ecosystem of organizations - the life cycle of religions, corporations, etc. (the Art of Memetics talks about this at length)

Zoom out further, there are laws of the solar system - solar flares, the orbits of planets, that sort of thing - we are subject to all of these, though their influence is more indirect

Zoom into the microcosmos, into me, treat the self as a cosmos... there are laws inside of it, like the laws of individual psychology. Zoom in, we're talking about biochemistry, neurology, etc.

Zoom in further, we're talking about the laws governing molecules, atoms, and even smaller things....

Gurdjieff says that there is a way to escape (maybe only briefly) from some of these laws -- I am getting ahead of myself, but I think that as you start to experience the higher levels of the spirit, as your growing experience of consciousness breaks down the distinction between the ego and the self---you can find yourself in a place where the melioration principle and the immediate external circumstances are no longer dictating your behavior. You're not the little you sitting in your chair reading this. You're the human. You're the cosmic self. It's not about what's for dinner. It's about how we're all being nourished.

William James writes about the varieties of mystical experience - in his broad work on spirituality, he identifies this 'unity' experience as the essential feature of all mystical experiences. When you read about the devout christian ecstatic experience and the apogee of zen-meditation, there is something shared - the micro-ego perceives the macro-ego and is shattered by awe.

I guess the question is, how has tribal warfare ceased, and tribal peace taken over in the past?

Gurdjieff is a little pessimistic here -- he thinks that warfare and destruction are part of a natural cycle. War just happens. He thinks it has to do with this build-up of collective energy which demands to be released. He describes it - I think metaphorically - almost like a tidal force. There are forces acting through our collective psychology. He describes them as 'planetary forces', though I'm not sure I like that, I think it's more of a 'cultural alchemy'... culture as a 'chemistry lab' where different chemicals meet and react to each other, some of it is going to be destructive.

So Gurdjieff sees war as a natural and unconscious process. If people were conscious, they could do something else - but we can't. We get threatened, we rally, we organize to hit back. It happens automatically, it's determined by a set of laws not unlike an ecosystem.

Bring and Brag / Re: Stang did another of my rants at Starwood.
« on: August 15, 2017, 02:33:56 pm »
ahhh this is great! Congrats roger! I love hearing your writing read out loud, with passion like this.


Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Subjectivism and the chair
« on: August 15, 2017, 02:23:37 pm »
There are so many bullshit questions without actual answers about concepts and the nature of things that we can't be certain about chair-ness. How can we possibly consistently evaluate anything's A-ness?

Hi new guy!

So, for the most part, I'm with you - I operate with the premise that meaning and identity is something generated by us meat people in order to make sense of the chaos, not an inherent property of stuff in the universe. So meaning is best understood as a social construct. The best meaning is the one with the most operational utility - that is, the one that "best fits" our internal models of how the world works. A chair is a chair because we agree that it's a chair, despite that our definition of a chair is going to be fuzzy and have edge cases. There is no essential chairness somewhere in conceptual space. The physical chair is not an expression of some quintessential chair.

And if we connect the dots from that logic, we arrive in a (perhaps) terrifying universe with no inherent meaning. My man Camus says that this is okay, because our generated meaning is enough. Things can be meaningful for personal reasons, even if those reasons aren't some fundamental truth. Meaning is absurd, but let's dance with it anyway.

All that being said, I'm at a phase in my life where I am trying to find my way through the postmodern tunnel. I am exploring a reality tunnel in which there are capital-T Truths out there, however they probably don't have anything to do with the essential nature of chairs. I think there is a form of Meaning and Purpose which does exist, and it has to do with our relationship with the chaos/cosmos, and the edges of it can be discovered through self discovery.

It's a little tangential to your post, but I get the sense you may dig Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which unpacks Aristotle's analytical knife, the way he splits up the universe into distinct parts, and the deep rifts this has caused today (namely by cleaving apart the arts and sciences, rational and aesthetic, into different metaphysical categories)

Principia Discussion / Re: Return
« on: August 08, 2017, 09:20:40 pm »
Hey there planeswalker!

thanks for the shoutoutz  :banana:

Apple Talk / Re: Fucking Photobucket
« on: July 14, 2017, 10:11:26 pm »
is there some ... magical way to download everything, shift it over to another host, and then bulk find/replace URLs throughout the PD archive? maybe using magic?

also, I don't think we have the wompcabal login anymore

Apple Talk / Fucking Photobucket
« on: July 14, 2017, 06:22:11 pm »
Look at my goddamn signature, what the fuck

this means ALL the wompcabal images in the PD archive are now broken.

Principia Discussion / Re: Which age are we in?
« on: July 14, 2017, 06:20:25 pm »
Personally, I love the 5-season cycle.

Each season has its own features, its own tools, its own escape scenario

My two cents says:

If something is in the season of Chaos, recognize the potential energy there. Be mindful of the law of unintended consequences - during the prenatal form of any structure/idea/community/etc, the idea isn't fully formed yet. Random things can kick it in any direction.

If we are in the season of Confusion, disorder reigns. Stuff needs structure or it will die.

If we are living in Discord--in pre-bureaucratic times--- it is the eve of Order taking over. So as Discordians, we usually hit the brakes, we try to prevent order from dominating and becoming a bureaucracy.

If we are living in the season of Bureaucracy, we build for Aftermath, we work on the systems that will replace Bureaucracy. We often work via acceleration, bring the pimple to the surface, intensifying the order until it is unpalatable (this is the same mechanism that Satire uses)

and that when you recognize an Aftermath moment, savor it, appreciate it. The waves have broken and are rolling back into the sea.

« on: July 11, 2017, 09:59:14 pm »
my shit is all kopyleft, all rites reversed
ergo 169% cool with me

Apple Talk / Re: ITT: I am RESURRCTED! AMA
« on: July 11, 2017, 03:59:57 pm »

Or Kill Me / Re: Look both ways before you cross
« on: July 07, 2017, 04:28:54 pm »
Another problem with the left is that in places, certainly not everywhere but it places, multiculturalism and diversity have been been deformed into an essentially reactionary caricature of themselves. You can't do or use anything associated with another culture because that's "cultural appropriation", and to a lesser extent ethnic people are discouraged from acting too white. It's as if isolation and segregation was the goal. Multiculturalism doesn't mean multiple distinct and isolated cultures happening to be in the same place, it means multiple cultures interacting and eventually fusing into a single huge superculture.

I would agree insofar that there are some people on the left that are getting a little carried away. I don't, however, think those cats are really driving the party van. Also, the sanctimony and protectionism of the left is really not in the same class of harm as its mate on the right... Nobody's getting harmed by "PC" language like people get harmed by racist/sexist/transphobic/etc language.

I'm unsure if I agree with your take on the end goal of Multiculturalism.
There's a Zizek talk where he gets into the problems of multiculturalism... he's not against multiculturalism itself, but thinks the current incarnation of it (which is anchored in tolerance) is insufficient to confront the systemic elements of injustices like racism and sexism.

He gives an example from MLK Jr- King didn't advocate tolerance. He didn't think that racism was really a problem of blacks not being tolerated by whites. He addressed racism in terms of economic exploitation, legal rights, etc.

MLK wanted blacks and whites to coexist. He didn't want them to fuse into one. He didn't call for blacks to embrace white culture or vice versa. My understanding is that he thought that in an ideal society, we could live next door and still retain our ethnicity and identity.

Also, (pro vided that the matter doesn't relate to women's rights or gay rights) other cultures are cut a lot of undue slack to do backwards and barbaric things in places where a white person would be rightly called out on it. They are also given more slack to have been backwards in the past. A lot of the peoples conquered during the age of european imperialism were indeed barbaric compared to the europeans; we just can't see it because the olden europeans are in turn barbaric compared to us, and the gulf between them and us is much larger than the gulf between them and those they conquered; but some of those people they conquered (the Aztecs for instance) still practiced human sacrifice and shit like that, that kind of thing needed to be stopped.

The word Barbaric has a lot of baggage. It implies that a cultures exist on a hierarchy of advancement, and that some cultures are more advanced than others and therefore have some kind of authority over the "barbarians". (and let's specify we're not talking about technology, but cultural practices and values)

I think "civilized" is an honorific you hang on your favorite values. In the US, we think cold beer is awesome. In other places, it's normal to drink it at room temperature. My friends think warm beer is barbaric. Really they are just putting their personal tastes on a pedestal.

I do think it's shitty how women are treated in a lot of middle eastern countries (for example). Our western concept of feminism has a lot of trouble coexisting with their traditional, patriarchal conception of femininity. But what are we supposed to do about that? Invade them and force them to accept all our sweet-ass western values (hard power)? Start building McDonalds and give everybody a Netflix subscription (soft power)?  Or do we accept that it's not our place to force them to the table of western values? it's their culture, maybe we should let them work it out on their own.

There are limits, of course -- bigass human rights violations do demand international intervention.


High Weirdness / Re: ITT Mandela Effect fuckery biblical or otherwise
« on: July 06, 2017, 07:50:11 pm »
Just for posterity
The Mandela Effect is just false memories + the sleeper effect.

The mechanism is that when you imagine something that happened in the past, at first, your brain can easily tell the difference between the real memory and the imagined scenario. But that imagined scenario gets stored much like a real memory does.

Over time, the "metadata" decays--it becomes harder to distinguish the real memory from the imagined one. The weaker a memory, the more vulnerable you are to being misled by false memories.


Do you remember how it rained during your prom?

imagine that

imagine it really hard, visualize it, tell me some details about it

10 years from now, you won't be so sure it didn't rain.

Literate Chaotic / Re: "Exit" - a poem
« on: July 06, 2017, 03:23:33 pm »
I like it.

I like the meter - the second stanza has a cool little jump at the end

Or Kill Me / Re: Look both ways before you cross
« on: July 05, 2017, 09:31:49 pm »
thanks dude! I know how it is.

Or Kill Me / Re: Look both ways before you cross
« on: July 05, 2017, 07:29:59 pm »
Hey Fallenkezef  - if you haven't escaped yet, would still love to know your opinion on the stuff in my last post ITT...

while the stats I provided are US-focused, I'm pretty sure the story is similar elsewhere.

I've seen both sides of the welfare state in action and have some personal bias. My partner's ex hasn't worked for three years because he prefers NOT to work, hasn't paid a penny to support his daughter and has openly admitted that one of the reasons he doesn't work is because he doesn't want the CSA to take his money.

My mother is on disability and got screwed over by the changes to that benefit, took a long time to appeal and get her the help she needs. I have a lingering anger for mr Hunt due to that.

It's a given that all systems like this will have some "abusers".

But most of the people receiving unemployment benefits aren't like that. Most of them want to get back to work ASAP. The safety net exists so they aren't forced into homelessness or crime while they look for work.

Isn't it worth a few people getting a "free ride" in order to keep a ton of people out of the poverty trap?

The system needs to work both ways, an obligation to provide work. Which is why I favour a national service model.

Hunting for a job is a full time job. Wouldn't people get off welfare faster if they actually had time to job hunt and educate themselves?

I feel like the state could keep people nursing on its teat forever if it was getting all this sweet low-cost labor. If people's service is valuable, then what's the state's incentive to get them off it?

There are countries with no welfare or unemployment benefits.. What happens there, when you lose your job? What happens to the poverty rate and wealth concentration over time?

if you're fiscally conservative, how do you feel about the measurable economic impact of the safety net?

  • According to the Census Bureau estimates, unemployment insurance kept 3.2 million Americans from falling below the poverty line in 2010 alone.
  • A study commissioned by the Labor Department under the Bush administration showed that for every dollar spent on unemployment benefits, two dollars are pumped back into the economy.
  • The Council of Economic Advisors estimates that in 2009 and 2010, GDP was boosted by 0.8% and 800,000 more jobs were created as a result of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed.
            Source: US Department of Labor

This is why welfare was invented by conservatives.

Propaganda Depository / Re: Go Mindfuck Yourself (multiple formats)
« on: July 05, 2017, 07:23:39 pm »

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