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Messages - Cramulus

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Or Kill Me / Re: Broadcasted
« on: June 18, 2017, 02:23:15 pm »
I'm with you. There are a lot of voices out there, in here.

The loudest ones are not focused on the big picture. They're dealing with immediate needs and fears.

But if you listen, there are voices which are aware, which have thought up solutions to the big problems. These voices are often drowned out by the others, but you can hear them.

And if you can hear them, it means we can all hear them.

But maybe you're right, maybe it's too late for us.

But there's something comforting knowing that other civilizations have probably gotten this far and failed too.

Just like water, when poured onto an incline, will naturally flow downwards,

         just like that

people will be born

and look up

Attn Cramulus: You called this years ago. Hope you're fucking pleased with yourself  :argh!:

I am pleased. In the future, the desire to have sex with other physical humans will seem like a weird fetish.
The comments make me want to hasten the inevitable end of humanity.

yeah, they are terrible

definitely the most unsettling thing about the video was the narrator's frame that men have been searching for an "upgrade" to physical women. Physical women aren't what men need.

I can imagine a world where bots like this help solve an overpopulation problem

and in that world, dating fucking blows ass

Bring and Brag / Re: Fourth Way
« on: June 16, 2017, 05:45:40 pm »

Discordianism is

an attitude

my attitude:
CHAOS is the book in which ORDER and DISORDER are written
CHAOS is the raw universe, "Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild", but brimming with potential energy

there's a way of understanding things
a way which is outside of order and disorder, outside of reason and emotion,
formless, therefore objective,
the source
the spirit of the valley
the crack in What Is
the seed growing from What Isn't

the banana cream pie
                                in flight
the banana peel
                         you just stepped on

what your face looked like
                                      before you were born
the self
            that has no face

                          after the wild circus

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: June 16, 2017, 03:14:56 pm »
I have so much to say and I don't have a clue where to start. Guess I'll start with the material facts... This isn't a polished essay, I'm going to ramble, so forgive me in advance and bear with me.

I made it through 7 weeks of the In Search Of the Miraculous book club. It was an interesting and challenging experience. I struggled for a while with the "science" behind what Gurdjieff was saying. Ultimately, I made a mental breakthrough when I spotted the parts where Ouspensky warns us not to take it too literally. We're in deep metaphor country. And through that lens, all the stuff I struggled with became so beautiful and personally meaningful.

For example, I wrote about the Ray of Creation. Ouspensky describes the Ray as this emanation from the creation of the universe which cascades down into smaller tiers of existence. Something created all the galaxies, the stars, our star, the planets, our planets, life on our planet... and that same creative force is present in us. Ouspensky wrote about how the edge of the ray of creation is the moon, and that one day once it has been fed with the energies and collective processing power of humanity*, it will be green... but I think the moon is better understood there as a metaphor for whatever it is that humanity is creating.

*this idea of humanity as a collective processor... it kinda reminds me of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where Adams presents the earth as a giant computer. Every living being on earth is contributing to the grand calculation of the meaning of life.

That's very in line with Gurdjieff's thinking. It's kinda like - the birth of modern democracy required centuries of "processing" feudalism. Years of painful serfhood and subjectivity (as in 'being a subject') created this collective need for something better. And when that fire grew hot enough to destroy feudalism, we lit our torches and headed for the castles. Our suffering served some (at the time) invisible future purpose.

And in this similar way, humanity is creating something else, beyond what exists now. We're all involved in it, as we live our lives and pay taxes and argue with people online. This isn't just humanity, it's the whole universe pushing its way into consciousness through us, creating the universe through us.

At larger scales, "creation" looks like suns and planets being formed, huge masses of plasma spinning through space. At smaller scales of creation, this same process looks like you and me.


That's an example of me coming through the eye of the needle and expanding my narrow literal understanding.

Seven weeks of the meetings... the group dwindled from a dozen down to about 5 (plus the three leaders). In that smaller group, the real discussions started. I felt like I was really able to engage and ask my questions.

And like many good mystery cults, it ended with mystery, something else behind another veil. The speakers would not tell me more about the sacred movements, or about the stuff you do later in the work. They give a coy smile and say we've just scratched the surface. One of them explained that this group is partly about us seeing if we really like these Gurdjieff ideas. And it's also about the Gurdjieff Foundation seeing if they really like us, if we're ready to learn more.

They told us to keep reading, and that they'd be in contact. After the summer, there are going to be more meetings. But I think we'll only find out about them if we're invited.

One of the cool things about the Gurdjieff work that's unlike esoteric mystery cults... other groups ask you do to the "work" before they teach you the "secrets". Gurdjieff arranged it backwards. He tells you the secrets right up front, and then slowly reveals the Work which will help you fully understand them.

I want to wear the robes and do the dances and share consciousness.  So I'm going to hang on.

I think they like me because I'm a skeptic. I'm very critical of everything we're being told. I often challenge the "elders" in this group... I said a few weeks ago - one of the things I've struggled with for 15 years now is the idea of free will.

There's a "law" in behavioral psychology called the Melioration Principle. It says that an organism will engage in a behavior until a competing behavior offers a better reward. You can see this every day, in everything you do. When you make a choice, what you're doing is really just a quantitative weighing of rewards. And doesn't that sound mechanical? Does that seem like free will? It seems like free will is just solving this calculus equation.

Gurdjieff says there's a way out of this. That there are moments when you can escape this inner slavery. Moments when your actions aren't mechanically dictated by external circumstances. With work, with awareness of the internal world, with "conscious labor and intentional suffering", we can achieve brief moments of internal freedom.

And I say: I will believe it when I see it.

But I'm not dismissing it until I have walked down the path myself. If this kind of freedom is possible, I want to taste it.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: June 16, 2017, 02:34:43 pm »
An idea that's been spinning in my head like a gif from angelfire, by way of Jacob Needleman (podcast)

The scientific atheism of our time is a necessary purgative - it strips us down to a place where we might understand God in a completely different way.

Or Kill Me / Re: Kesha's yelling timber
« on: June 08, 2017, 09:01:14 pm »
Jeeeesus Dags! That's horrible. Really glad you're okay. Any landing you can walk away from, right? Sheesh.

Aneristic Illusions / Re: General Trump hilarity free-for-all thread
« on: June 08, 2017, 08:49:02 pm »

Quote from: Kieth Olbermann
Senator McCain has in essence just asked why Comey didn't prosecute Clinton for helping the Russians get Trump elected.

McCain kinda acknowledges his questions were stupid AF

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: June 01, 2017, 07:39:52 pm »
I just wanted to touch briefly on a topic that's all over Gurdjieff. It's called the Ray of Creation.


The story goes like this:

In the beginning, there's the raw uncut universe, called the Absolute. The primal singularity. The original Causal Factor. All that exists, undivided. Everything at once.

Whatever that is - produced all the suns in the universe, including ours.

And the laws which govern stuff at that size led to the formation of planets, including ours.

When you get down to planet-size, there are different laws. From these factors, life on earth emerged.

Emerging from the laws which govern life on earth, some of it eventually developed consciousness, analytical thought, became capable of examining itself and its environment... As sagan puts it:

I think it's beautiful.

There is a spark inside of me, animating me. This spark was forged in the big bang, it's a direct product of this primordial cosmic process. As it descends into increasingly fine levels of the universe, it becomes subject to different laws. Layer by layer, it eventually becomes a human life. So the big bang didn't just create stars and stuff like that, it also created you and me. The Big Bang created consciousness. The big bang created you reading these words on a monitor.

And then what? What follows consciousness, in the ray of creation? What will consciousness eventually produce? To what end does the universe want to know itself?

Nobody knows, of course.

Gurdjieff says that organic life on earth is like an "energy collector". Organic life is building up this "potential". When the potential reaches a certain threshold, the next thing will emerge.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: June 01, 2017, 03:14:44 pm »
On God's Omnipotence....

I liked this passage. The Absolute Will (ie whatever causal factor started the cascade of the big bang, the suns, the planets, life on the planets, you, me, this sentence you're reading right now) isn't involved in the day to day affairs of the universe. The universe functions according to laws and principles which can be understood.

Quote from: In Search of the Miraculous, by PD Ouspensky
We had many talks about the idea of miracles, and about the fact that the Absolute cannot manifest its will in our world and that this will manifests itself only in the form of mechanical laws and cannot manifest itself by violating these laws....

"Give me an example of something that the Lord cannot do," said the bishop.

"It won't take long to do that, your Eminence," answered the seminarist. "Everyone knows that even the Lord himself cannot beat the ace of trumps with the ordinary deuce."

"There was more sense in this silly story than in a thousand theological treatises. The laws of a game make the essence of the game. A violation of these laws would destroy the entire game. The Absolute can as little interfere in our life and substitute other results in the place of the natural results of causes created by us, or created accidentally, as he can beat the ace of trumps with the deuce. Turgenev wrote somewhere that all ordinary prayers can be reduced to one: "Lord, make it so that twice two be not four." This is the same thing as the ace of trumps of the seminarist."

I just saw the new book come out. What changed in 3rd edition?

Literate Chaotic / Re: How full of shit is Peter Levenda?
« on: May 31, 2017, 04:12:38 am »
Bump, this guy must like googling himself, he is the top search for the forum this month with 120 click throughs to the forum

If I google Peter Levenda, this thread is the fourth hit. I wonder if he was mentioned on TV or something?

For you people stopping in from google - this is a much better thread about Peter Levenda

Also, look at this guy:

yeah, really digging the New Sincerity these days

RPG Ghetto / Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« on: May 23, 2017, 03:29:30 pm »
Yeah it just seems like a bad photocopy of previous mass effect titles. It's still a good game. I got like 50% of the way through it, then had a momentary impulse to play some Bloodborne, and, whelp... Now I'm re-beating Bloodborne. It's not that I wasn't enjoying myself. But it also wasn't really hooking me in. And blooborne fucking rules.

ME: Andromeda seemed like... you can really tell the original team isn't there and the new team didn't bring anything fresh to the table. All they can really do is repackage the original cool ideas.

My top criticism is that it feels very unimaginative, which sucks for a series that I felt was very creative and unique. It also feels like one of these "big studio" games, where every part of the game was designed by a different sub-team, but they aren't coordinated real well.

Like, the whole premise is that you're exploring another galaxy. So this should be cool! Mass effect always has these really interesting aliens, and these ones are from so far away from us that we're gonna be in fresh territory. But, it doesn't FEEL like a new galaxy, it feels like another milky way, if that makes sense? But with less politics, less stuff going on in general.

And oh yeah, what's the deal with how they set up this whole Neil Armstrong moment of being the first explorers of a new galaxy.. and then you find out that milky-way people have actually already been here for over a year. They already littered the whole galaxy with ammo dumps and half-built structures and documented everything. Not only are you not the first ones here, but people have had time to build bases and rebel against each other and split into subfactions...

Regarding the aliens... I can accept the Mass Effect premise that evolution has these "convergence points", some traits are just the "best way of evolving", so we get a galaxy full of bipedals with faces, hands, etc... Sure, that makes sense because you want the aliens to be relate-able.

But somehow.. I was hoping for more stuff like the Elcorr or the Hanharr. Instead, the new galaxy just has different flavors of angarans, which feel basically like space humans? It kinda bothered me that they don't really seem alien at all. Sure there are a few unique features to them, and they look cool, but do they seem "alien"? Nahhh

Also, the Remnants... it just feels kinda like the Protheans.. cruising around the galaxy looking for the super-race that existed here long ago. It's almost like I already did this for three games.

Also, the Kett... so they (((((((SPOILER WARNING))))))) basically do the exact same thing as the Collectors? Capture people and convert them? Seems like something I already dealt with for two games.

Also, as soon as they revealed the kett general, I was struck how this seems like the exact same structure as Dragon Age Inquisition. First you deal with mysterious butthole-faced creatures that want to kill you, you fortify your base(s), then they reveal the big bad, then he taunts you for two or three acts, then you confront him... it just feels like a copy and paste. I mean I get that a lot of RPGs use that structure, but it just feels SO SIMILAR to the plot beats of DA:I...

and the party members are pretty mediocre

and the dialog is far less branched... if you replay the same scene and select different dialog options, the NPCs usually say the exact same things.

and there is no alignment axis like paragon/renegade... but I guess that's okay since it's not like you really make any significant choices, at least in the half of the game I've played.

and oh yeah - and this criticism might not be so much targeted at ME:A but a statement about a lot of games coming out in the last few years... But the 'sandbox' fad is also getting a bit threadbare. Don't get me wrong, I like sandboxes, I like freedom. Games like skyrim have so much replayability because there is so much jammed into that sandbox just waiting for you to discover.

But the way most developers approach the "sandbox" is to create these wide open maps and then dump like 100 little quest icons into it. All of them are light little encounters, a single bite of gameplay.

The consequence of this design is that most of the gameplay gets sucked into this discovery loop. You're tediously clearing every icon from a region, one by one. When set up this way, it *doesn't* feel like exploration. It feels like just going through a check list in a nonlinear order.

I will come back and finish it, but it felt really meh to me. Meh Effect: Andromehda.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: May 22, 2017, 10:17:36 pm »
When i read this thread I'm constantly reminded of how these different things you describe resemble other spiritual practices.  Mantra, for example is basically a self-remembering technique. Repeat a a phrase and combine it with beads. Then feed all the experiences from the above two points waaaaaaay up inside the mantra.

A lot of it seems to separate out the pieces for better organization especially if one's habits and routines resemble the  automaton.

That's one of the cool things about the Gurdjieff work. He was initiated into a LOT of different spiritual traditions. A lot of the stuff he presents can be found elsewhere, but described from a different angle. It kinda feels like Gurdjieff tried to touch the proverbial elephant in lots of different places.  :fap:

Zen teachers say: you think too much, you talk too much, your reasoning apparatus doesn't know how to take a break, you forget  the "primal" self... (the same 'primal' we're talking about when we say 'primal chaos', the world unfiltered by the mind)

MY UNDERSTANDING (which may be wrong) is that in Mantra meditation, you are basically going deep into the mechanical part of the self. You repeat the mantra over and over again, until it's automatic, until it becomes you, until the person who is saying the mantra is gone and only the mantra is left.

One of the reasons that a lot of mantras are nonsense words (OM MANI PADME HUM) is that you don't want the intellectual part of the self to get stuck in the 'meaning', where it will start free associating and taking you down these little side-paths. During mantra meditation, you want to stay in the mechanical, automatic mind while there is no self.

The goal of this practice is to develop a "solid core", to gain mastery over the random impulses and stray thoughts and daydreams that pull our mental arrows off target.

Gurdjieff thinks, by the way, that this is an "unbalanced" way of training. The zen student has to learn to stop the thoughts that create the world. THEN, they basically have to re-learn to think and feel. Zen says - the intellect and emotions get in the way... if you silence them, what's left? Let's stay there for a little while, that's where the real self lives. If you hang out there long enough, you might meet him!

Gurdjieff, on the other hand, is presenting a way of working on all the "centers" at once. That is, you are not trying to quiet your intellect and emotions. You are trying to observe them, and eventually understand them, and eventually, control them. Zen starts at the other end: trying to control the mind and the emotions, and then discovering the self. Gurdjieff understands the self as fractured, as having no unity. We can't discover the self unless we can take in the whole mosaic at once.

And as a point of order - Gurdjieff doesn't think his work is better than zen, or that zen students are training wrong. It's just a different approach!

I'm curious if any of Shiva's 112 Meditation Techniques resemble any of the techniques you read about. I can only find this in reference to Osho, but it seems legit enough.  Plus I think Osho ripped off Gurdjieff all to hell--especially with movement and plain old physical activity. So at any rate, I'm curious as to how they compare.

yeah, reading over this, it feels like there's some shared area

I'd need to study it more, though, before I can say anything interesting about it

and even then, what I say will be boring

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